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Full text of "The cat of Bubastes : a tale of ancient Egypt"

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Author of " By Sheer Pluck;" "The Young Carthaginian;" "For the Temple;" 
"In the Reign of Terror;" "A Final Reckoning;" &c. 










Thanks to the care with which the Egyptians depicted 
upon the walls of their sepulchres the minutest doings of 
their daily life, to the dryness of the climate which has pre 
served these records uninjured for so many thousand years, 
and to the indefatigable labour of modern investigators, we 
know far more of the manners and customs of the Egyptians, 
of their methods of work, their sports and amusements, their 
public festivals, and domestic life, than we do of those of 
peoples comparatively modern. My object in the present 
story has been to give you as lively a picture as possible of 
that life, drawn from the bulky pages of Sir J. Gardner 
Wilkinson and other writers on the same subject. I have 
laid the scene in the time of Thotmes III., one of the great 
est of the Egyptian monarchs, being surpassed only in glory 
and the extent of his conquests by Rameses the Great. It 
is certain that Thotmes carried the arms of Egypt to the 
shores of the Caspian, and a people named the Rebu, with 
fair hair and blue eyes, were among those depicted in the 
Egyptian sculptures as being conquered and made tributary. 
It is open to discussion whether the Exodus of the Jews 
from Egypt took place in the reign of Thotmes or many 
years subsequently, some authors assigning it to the time 
of Rameses. Without attempting to enter into this much 
discussed question, I have assumed that the Israelites were 


still in Egypt at the time of Thotmes, and by introducing 
Moses just at the time he began to take up the cause of the 
people to whom he belonged, I leave it to be inferred that 
the Exodus took place some forty years later. I wish you 
to understand, however, that you are not to accept this date 
as being absolutely correct. Opinions differ widely upon it; 
and as no allusion whatever has been discovered either to 
the Exodus, or to any of the events which preceded it, 
among the records of Egypt, there is nothing to fix the 
date as occurring during the reign of any one among the 
long line of Egyptian kings. The term Pharoah used in 
the Bible throws no light upon the subject, as Pharoah 
simply means king, and the name of no monarch bearing 
that appellation is to be found on the Egyptian monu 
ments. I have in no way exaggerated the consequences 
arising from the slaying of the sacred cat, as the acci 
dental killing of any cat whatever was an offence punished 
by death throughout the history of Egypt down to the time 
of the Roman connection with that country. 

Yours sincerely, 



CHAP. Pago 





V. IN LOWEK EGYPT, .... 75 












XVII. Our OF EGYPT, 292 















THE sun was blazing down upon a city on the western 
shore of the Caspian. It was a primitive city, and 
yet its size and population rendered it worthy of the term. 
It consisted of a vast aggregation of buildings, which were 
for the most part mere huts. Among them rose, however, a 
few of more solid build and of higher pretensions. These 
were the abodes of the chiefs and great men, the temples, 
and places of assembly. But, although larger and more solidly 
built, these buildings could lay no claim to architectural beauty 
of any kind, but were little more than magnified huts, and 
even the king's palace was but a collection of such buildings 
closely adjoining each other. 

The town was surrounded by a lofty wall with battle 
ments and loopholes, and a similar but higher wall girt in 
the dwellings of the king and of his principal captains. The 
streets were alive with the busy multitude; and it was evi 
dent that, although in the arts of peace the nation had made 
but little progress, they had in everything appertaining to 
war made great advances. Most of the men wore helmets 
closely fitting to the head and surmounted by a spike. 
These were for the most part composed of hammered brass, 
although some of the head-pieces were made of tough hide, 
studded with knobs of metal. All carried round shields 
those of the soldiers, of leather stiffened with metal; 
those of the captains, of brass, worked with considerable 


In their belts all wore daggers, while at their backs were 
slung quivers of iron; painted bows hung over one shoulder, 
and some had at their waist a pouch of smooth flat stones 
and leather slings. Their chief garment was a sort of kilt 
falling to the knee. Above the waist some wore only a thin 
vest of white linen, others a garment not unlike the night 
gown of modern times, but with short sleeves. The kilt 
was worn over this. Some had breast-pieces of thick leather 
confined by straps behind; while in the case of the officers 
the leather was covered with small pieces of metal, forming 
a cuirass. 

All carried two or three javelins in the left hand, and a 
spear some ten feet long in the right. Horsemen galloped 
about at full speed to and from the royal palace, while 
occasionally chariots, drawn sometimes by one, sometimes 
by two horses, dashed along. These chariots were small, 
the wheels not exceeding three feet in height. Between 
them was placed the body of the vehicle, which was but 
just large enough for two men to stand on. It consisted 
only of a small platform, with a semicircular rail running 
round the front some eighteen inches above it. A close 
observer would have perceived at once that not only were 
the males of the city upon the point of marching out on a 
military expedition, but that it was no mere foray against a 
neighbouring people, but a war on which the safety of the 
city depended. 

Women were standing in tearful groups as they watched 
the soldiers making towards the gates. The men themselves 
had a resolute and determined look, but there was none of 
the light-hearted gaiety among them which betokened the ex 
pectation of success and triumph. Inside the palace the bustle 
of preparation was as marked as without. The king and his 
principal councillors and leaders were assembled in the great 
circular hut which formed the audience-room and council- 
chamber. Messengers arrived in close succession with news 
of the progress and strength of the enemy, or with messages 


from the neighbouring towns and tribes as to the contin 
gents they had furnished, and the time at which these had 
set out to join the army. 

The king himself was a tall and warlike figure, in the 
prime of life. He had led his warriors on many successful 
expeditions far to the west, and had repulsed with great 
loss the attempts of the Persians to encroach upon his 
territory. Standing behind him was his son, Amuba, a lad 
of some fifteen years of age. The king and his councillors, 
as well as all the wealthier inhabitants of the city, wore, in 
addition to the kilt and linen jacket, a long robe highly 
coloured and ornamented with fanciful devices, and having a 
broad rich border. It was fastened at the neck with a large 
brooch, fell loosely from the shoulders to the ankles, and 
was open in front. The girdles which retained the kilts and 
in which the daggers were worn were highly ornamented, 
and the ends fell down in front and terminated in large 

All wore a profusion of necklaces, bracelets, and other 
ornaments of gold; many of the chiefs wore feathers in 
their helmets, and the greater portion of all ranks had 
figures tattooed on their arms and legs. They were fair in 
complexion, with blue eyes ; their hair was for the most part 
golden or red, and they wore their beards short and pointed. 
The young Prince Amuba was attired for the field; his 
helmet was of gold, and his cuirass covered with plates of 
the same metal. He listened with suppressed impatience to 
the arguments of his elders, for he was eager to be off, 
this being the first time that he had been permitted to take 
part in the military expeditions of his country. 

After listening for some time and perceiving that there 
was no prospect of the council breaking up, he retired to the 
large hut adjoining the council-chamber. This served as 
the dwelling-place of the ladies and their family. It was 
divided into several apartments by screens formed of hide 
sewn together and hidden from sight by coloured hangings. 


In one of these a lady was seated on a low couch covered 
with panthers' skins. 

" They have not done talking yet, mother. It has been 
a question as to where we shall assemble to give battle. It 
does not seem to me to make much difference where we fight, 
but they seem to think that it is most important; and of 
course they know more about it than I do. They have fixed 
upon a place at last it is about fifteen miles from here. 
They say that the ground in front is marshy and can hardly 
be traversed by the enemy's chariots ; but if they cannot get 
at us, it seems to me that we cannot get at them. Messen 
gers have been sent off to order all the contingents to 
assemble at that spot. Six thousand men are to remain 
behind to guard the city; but as we mean to beat them I 
do not think there can be much occasion for that; for you 
think we shall beat them don't you, mother 1" 

"I hope so, Amuba; but I am very fearful." 

"But we have several times repulsed them when they 
have invaded our country, mother; why should we not do 
so this time?" 

" They are much stronger than they have ever been before 
when they have come against us, my boy; and their king is 
a great warrior, who has been successful in almost every 
enterprise he has undertaken." 

"I cannot think why he wants to conquer us, mother. 
They say the riches of Egypt are immense, and the splen 
dour of their temples and buildings such as we have no 
idea of. We have no quarrel with them if they will but let 
us alone." 

" No country is so rich that it does not desire more, my 
son. We have gold and are skilled in the working of it, 
and no doubt they anticipate that they will capture much 
treasure in the land; besides, as you say, their expeditions 
against the Rebu have been several times repulsed, and 
therefore their monarch will reap all the greater honour if 
he should defeat us. As to their having no quarrel with 


us, have we not made many expeditions to the west, return 
ing with captives and much booty ? and yet the people had 
no quarrel with us many of them, indeed, could scarcely 
have known us by name when our army appeared among 
them. Some day, my son, things may be managed differ 
ently ; but at present kings who have power make war upon 
people that are weaker than themselves, spoil them of their 
goods, and make slaves of them. 

"I hope, Amuba, you will not expose yourself too much 
in the conflict. You have not come to man's strength yet; 
and remember you are my only child. See that your 
charioteer covers you with his shield when you have entered 
the battle, for the Egyptians are terrible as archers. Their 
bows carry much farther than do ours, and the arrows will 
pierce even the strongest armour. Our spearmen have al 
ways shown themselves as good as theirs nay, better, for 
they are stronger in body and full of courage. It is in the 
goodness of her archers and the multitude of her chariots 
that the strength of Egypt lies. Remember that although 
your father, as king, must needs go into the thick of the 
battle to encourage his soldiers, there is no occasion why 
you, who are yet a boy, should so expose yourself. 

" It will doubtless be a terrible battle. The Egyptians have 
the memory of past defeats to wipe out, and they will be 
fighting under the eye of their king. I am terrified, Amuba. 
Hitherto when your father has gone out to battle I have 
never doubted as to the result. The Persians were not foes 
whom brave men need dread; nor was it difficult to force 
the hordes passing us from the eastward towards the setting 
sun to respect our country, for we had the advantage in 
arms and discipline. But the Egyptians are terrible foes, 
and the arms of their king have been everywhere victorious. 
My heart is filled with dread at the thought of the approach 
ing conflict, though I try to keep up a brave face when your 
father is with me, for I would not that he should deem me 


"I trust, mother, that your fears are groundless; and I 
cannot think that our men will give way when fighting for 
their homes and country upon ground chosen by themselves." 

"I hope not, Amuba. But there is the trumpet sound 
ing; it is the signal that the council have broken up and 
that your father is about to start. Bless you, my dear boy, 
and may you return safe and sound from the conflict!" 

The queen fondly embraced her son, who left the apart 
ment hastily as his father entered in order that the latter 
might not see the traces of tears on his cheeks. A few 
minutes later the king, with his captains, started from the 
palace. Most of them rode in chariots, the rest on horse 
back The town was quiet now and the streets almost 
deserted. With the exception of the garrison, all the men 
capable of bearing arms had gone forth; the women with 
anxious faces stood in groups at their doors and watched 
the royal party as it drove out. 

The charioteer of Amuba was a tall and powerful man; 
he carried a shield far larger than was ordinarily used, and 
had been specially selected by the king for the service. His 
orders were that he was not to allow Amuba to rush into 
the front line of fighters, and that he was even to disobey 
the orders of the prince if he wished to charge into the 
ranks of the enemy. 

" My son must not shirk danger," his father said, " and 
he must needs go well into the fight; but he is still but a 
boy, not fit to enter upon a hand-to-hand contest with the 
picked warriors of Egypt. In time I hope he will fight 
abreast of me, but at present you must restrain his ardour. 
I need not bid you shield him as well as you can from the 
arrows of the Egyptians. He is my eldest son, and if aught 
happens to me he will be the King of the Eebu; and his 
life is therefore a precious one." 

Half an hour later they came upon the tail of the 
stragglers making their way to the front. The king stopped 
his chariot and sharply reproved some of them for their 


delay in setting out, and urged them to hasten on to the ap 
pointed place. In two hours the king arrived at this spot, 
where already some forty thousand men were assembled. 
The scouts who had been sent out reported that although 
the advance - guard of the Egyptians might arrive in an 
hour's time the main body were some distance behind, and 
would not be up in time to attack before dark. 

This was welcome news, for before night the rest of the 
forces of the Eebu, fully thirty thousand more, would have 
joined. The king at once set out to examine the ground 
chosen by his general for the conflict. It sloped gently down 
in front to a small stream which ran through soft and marshy 
ground, and would oppose a formidable obstacle to the pas 
sage of chariots. The right rested upon a dense wood, while 
a village a mile and a half distant from the wood was held 
by the left wing. 

A causeway which led from this across the marsh had 
been broken up, and heavy blocks of stone were scattered 
thickly upon it to impede the passage of chariots. The 
archers were placed in front to harass the enemy attempt 
ing to cross. Behind them were the spearmen in readiness 
to advance and aid them if pressed. The chariots were on 
the higher ground in the rear ready to dash in and join in 
the conflict should the enemy succeed in forcing their way 
through the marsh. 

The visit of inspection was scarcely finished when a cloud 
of dust was seen rising over the plain. It approached rapidly. 
The flash of arms could be seen in the sun, and presently a 
vast number of horses were seen approaching in even line. 

"Are they horsemen, father 1 ?" Amuba asked. 

" No, they are chariots, Amuba. The Egyptians do not, 
like us, fight on horseback, although there may be a few 
small bodies of horsemen with the army; their strength lies 
in their chariots. See, they have halted; they have perceived 
our ranks drawn up in order of battle." 

The chariots drew up in perfect line, and as the clouds of 


dust blew away four lines of chariots could be made out 
ranged at a distance of a hundred yards apart. 

"There are about a thousand in each line," the king said, 
"and this is but their advance guard ; we have learned from 
fugitives that there are fully fifteen thousand chariots with 
their army." 

" Is there no other place where they can pass this swamp, 

"Not so well as here, Amuba; the valley deepens further 
on, and the passage would be far more difficult than here. 
Above, beyond the wood, there is a lake of considerable 
extent, and beyond that the ground is broken and unsuited 
for the action of chariots as far as the sea. Besides, they 
have come to fight us, and the pride of their king would not 
permit of their making a detour. See, there is some great 
personage, probably the king himself, advancing beyond their 
ranks to reconnoitre the ground." 

A chariot was indeed approaching the opposite brow of 
the depression; there were two figures in it; by the side 
walked numerous figures, who, although too far off to 
be distinguished, were judged to be the attendants and 
courtiers of the king. The sun flashed from the side of the 
chariot, which appeared at this distance to be composed of 
burnished gold. Great fans carried on wands shaded the 
king from the heat of the sun. 

He drove slowly along the edge of the brow until he 
reached a point opposite the wood, and then, turning, 
went the other way till he reached the causeway which 
passed on through the village. After this he rode back to 
the line of chariots and evidently gave a word of command, 
for instantly the long line of figures seen above the horses 
disappeared as the men stepped off the chariots to the ground. 
No movement took place for an hour, then there was a 
sudden stir, and the long lines broke up and wheeled round 
to the right and left, where they took up their position in 
two solid masses. 



"The main army are at hand," the king said. "Do you 
see that great cloud, ruddy in the setting sun? that is the 
dust raised by their advance ; in another hour they will be 
here, but by that time the sun will have set, and assuredly 
they will not attack until morning." 

The front line were ordered to remain under arms for a 
time ; the others were told to fall out and prepare their food 
for the night. The Egyptian army halted about a mile dis 
tant, and as soon as it was evident that no further move 
ment was intended, the whole of the soldiers were ordered 
to fall out. A line of archers were placed along the edge of 
the swamp, and ere long a party of Egyptian bowmen took 
up their post along the opposite crest. Great fires were 
lighted, and a number of oxen, which had been driven for 
ward in readiness, were slaughtered for food. 

"If the Egyptians can see what is going on," the king 
said to his son, " they must be filled with fury, for they 
worship the oxen as among their chief gods." 

"Is it possible, father, that they can believe that cattle 
are gods'?" Amuba asked in surprise. 

"They do not exactly look upon them as gods, my son, 
but as sacred to their gods. Similarly they reverence the 
cat, the ibis, and many other creatures." 

" How strange!" Amuba said. "Do they not worship, as 
we and the Persians do, the sun, which, as all must see, is 
the giver of light and heat, which ripens our crops and gives 
fertility in abundance?" 

"Not, so far as I know, Amuba; but I know that they 
have many gods who they believe give them victory over 
their enemies." 

"They don't always give them victory," Amuba said, 
" since four times they have been repulsed in their endeav 
ours to invade our land; perhaps our gods are more power 
ful than theirs." 

"It may be that, my son ; but so far as I can see the gods 
give victory to the bravest and most numerous armies." 

(481) B 


"That is to say they do not interfere at all, father." 

"I do not say that, my son; we know little of the ways of 
the gods. Each nation has its own, and as some nations 
overthrow others, it must be that either some gods are more 
powerful than others, or that they do not interfere to save 
those who worship them from destruction. But these things 
are all beyond our knowledge. We have but to do our 
part bravely, and we need assuredly not fear the bulls and 
the cats, and other creatures in which the Egyptians trust." 

Some hours were spent by the king, his leaders, and his 
captains in going about among the troops seeing that all 
the contingents had arrived well armed and in good order, 
notifying to the leaders of each the position they should 
take up in the morning, and doing all in their power to 
animate and encourage the soldiers. When all was done the 
king sat down on a pile of skins which had been prepared 
for him, and talked long and earnestly with his son, giving 
him advice as to his conduct in future, if aught should befall 
him in the coming fight. 

" You are my heir," he said, " and as is customary to the 
country the throne goes down from father to son. Were I 
to survive for another eight or ten years you would, of 
course, succeed me, but should I fall to-morrow, and should 
the Egyptians overrun the land, things may happen other- 
wise. In that case the great need of the people would be a 
military leader who would rouse them to prolonged resistance 
and lead them again and again against the Egyptians until 
these, worn out by the perpetual fighting, abandon the idea 
of subjecting us, and turn their attention to less stubborn- 
minded people. 

" For such work you are far too young, and the people 
would look to Amusis or one of my other captains as their 
leader. Should success crown his efforts they may choose 
him as their king. In that case I would say, Amuba, it 
will be far better for you to acquiesce in the public choice 
than to struggle against it. A lad like you would have no 


prospect of success against a victorious general, the choice 
of the people, and you would only bring ruin and death 
upon yourself and your mother by opposing him. 

"I can assure you that there is nothing so very greatly to 
be envied in the lot of a king, and as one of the nobles of 
the land your position would be far more pleasant here than 
as king. A cheerful acquiescence on your part to their 
wishes will earn you the good- will of the people, and at the 
death of him whom they may choose for their king their 
next choice may fall upon you. Do all in your power to 
win the good-will of whoever may take the place of leader 
at my death by setting an example of prompt and willing 
obedience to his orders. It is easy for an ambitious man to 
remove a lad from his path, and your safety absolutely 
demands that you shall give him no reason whatever to 
regard you as a rival. 

"I trust that all this advice may not be needed, and that 
we may conquer in to-morrow's fight, but if we are beaten the 
probability that I shall escape is very small, and it is there 
fore as well that you should be prepared for whatever may 
happen. If you find that in spite of following my advice 
the leader of the people, whoever he may be, is ill-disposed 
towards you, withdraw to the borders of the country, col 
lect as large a band as you can there are always plenty of 
restless spirits ready to take part in any adventure and 
journey with them to the far west, as so many of our people 
have done before, and establish yourself there and found a 

" None of those who have ever gone in that direction 
have returned, and they must therefore have found space to 
establish themselves, for had they met with people skilled 
in war and been defeated, some at least would have found 
their way back, but so long as traditions have been handed 
down to us tribes from the east have poured steadily west 
ward to the unknown land, and no band has ever returned." 

His father spoke so seriously that Amuba lay down that 


night on his couch of skins in a very different mood to that 
in which he had ridden out; he had thought little of his 
mother's forebodings, and had looked upon it as certain that 
the Rebu would beat the Egyptians as they had done before, 
but his father's tone showed him that he too felt by no 
means confident of the issue of the day. 

As soon as daylight broke the Rebu stood to their arms, 
and an hour later dense masses of the Egyptians were seen 
advancing. As soon as these reached the edge of the slope 
and began to descend towards the stream, the king ordered 
his people to advance to the edge of the swamp and to* open 
fire with their arrows. 

A shower of missiles flew through the air and fell among 
the ranks of the Egyptian footmen who had just arrived at 
the edge of the swamp. So terrible was the discharge that 
the Egyptians recoiled and, retreating half-way up the slope 
where they would be beyond the reach of the Rebu, in turn 
discharged their arrows. The superiority of the Egyptian 
bowmen was at once manifest; they carried very powerful 
bows, and standing sideways drew them to the ear, just as 
the English archers did at Crecy, and therefore shot their 
arrows a vastly greater distance than did their opponents, 
who were accustomed to draw their bows only to the 

Scores of the Rebu fell at the first discharge, and as the 
storm of arrows continued, they, finding themselves power 
less to damage the Egyptians at that distance, retired 
half-way up the side of the slope. Now from behind the 
lines of the Egyptian archers a column of men advanced a 
hundred abreast, each carrying a great faggot; their object 
was evident, they were about to prepare a wide causeway 
across the marsh by which the chariots could pass. Again 
the Rebu advanced to the edge of the swamp and poured in 
their showers of arrows; but the Egyptians, covering them 
selves with the bundles of faggots they carried, suffered but 
little harm, while the Rebu were mown down by the arrows 


of the Egyptian archers shooting calmly and steadily beyond 
the range of their missiles. 

As soon as the front rank of the Egyptian column reached 
the edge of the swampy ground the men of the front line 
laid down their faggots in a close row, and then retired 
in the intervals between their comrades behind them. Each 
rank as it arrived at the edge did the same. Many fell 
beneath the arrows of the Kebu, but the operation went on 
steadily, the faggots being laid down two deep as the ground 
became more marshy, and the Rebu saw, with a feeling ap 
proaching dismay, the gradual but steady advance of a 
causeway two hundred yards wide across the swamp. 

The king himself and his bravest captains, alighting from 
their chariots, went down among the footmen and urged them 
to stand firm, pointing out that every yard the causeway ad 
vanced their arrows inflicted more fatal damage among the 
men who were forming it. Their entreaties, however, were 
vain ; the ground facing the causeway was already thickly 
encumbered with dead, and the hail of the Egyptian arrows 
was so fast and deadly that even the bravest shrank from 
withstanding it. At last even their leaders ceased to urge 
them, and the king gave the order for all to fall back beyond 
the range of the Egyptian arrows. 

Some changes were made in the formation of the troops, and 
the best and most disciplined bands were placed facing the 
causeway so as to receive the charge of the Egyptian chariots. 
The two front lines were of spearmen, while on the higher 
ground behind them were placed archers whose orders were 
to shoot at the horses, and to pay no heed to those in the 
chariots; then came the chariots, four hundred in number. 
Behind these again was a deep line of spearmen; on the 
right and left extending to the wood and village were the 
main body of the army, who were to oppose the Egyptian 
footmen advancing across the swamp. 

The completion of the last portion of the causeway cost 
the Egyptians heavily, for while they were exposed to the 


arrows of the Rebu archers these were now beyond the range 
of the Egyptians on the opposite crest. But at last the 
work was completed. Just as it was finished and the work 
men had retired, the king leaped from his chariot, and, lead 
ing a body of a hundred men carrying blazing brands, dashed 
down the slope. As soon as they were seen the Egyptian 
archers ran forward and a storm of arrows was poured into 
the little band. Two-thirds of them fell ere they reached 
the causeway, the others applied their torches to the faggots. 

The Egyptian footmen rushed across to extinguish the 
flames, while the Rebu poured down to repel them. A 
desperate fight ensued, but the bravery of the Rebu pre 
vailed, and the Egyptians were driven back. Their attack, 
however, had answered its purpose, for in the struggle the 
faggots had been trodden deeper into the mire, and the fire 
was extinguished. The Rebu now went back to their first 
position and waited the attack which they were powerless to 
avert. It was upwards of an hour before it began, then the 
long line of Egyptian footmen opened, and their chariots 
were seen fifty abreast, then with a mighty shout the whole 
army advanced down the slope. The Rebu replied with 
their war-cry. 

At full speed the Egyptian chariots dashed down the 
declivity to the causeway. This was the signal for the Rebu 
archers to draw their bows, and in an instant confusion 
was spread among the first line of chariots. The horses 
wounded by the missiles plunged madly. Many, stepping 
between the faggots, fell. For a moment the advance was 
checked, but the Egyptian footmen, entering the swamp 
waist-deep, opened such a terrible fire with their arrows 
that the front line of the Rebu were forced to fall back, 
and the aim of their archers became wild and uncertain. 

In vain the king endeavoured to steady them. While he 
was doing so, the first of the Egyptian chariots had already 
made their way across the causeway, and behind them the 
others poured on in an unbroken column. Then through 


the broken lines of spearmen the Rebu chariots dashed down 
upon them, followed by the host of spearmen. The king's 
object was to arrest the first onslaught of the Egyptians, to 
overwhelm the leaders, and prevent the mass behind from 
emerging from the crowded causeway. 

The shock was terrible. Horses and chariots rolled over 
in wild confusion, javelins were hurled, bows twanged, and 
the shouts of the combatants and the cries of the wounded 
as they fell beneath the feet of the struggling horses created 
a terrible din. Light and active, the Rebu footmen mingled 
in the fray, diving under the bellies of the Egyptian horses, 
and inflicting vital stabs with their long knives or engaging 
in hand-to-hand conflicts with the dismounted Egyptians. 
Amuba had charged down with the rest of the chariots. He 
was stationed in the second line, immediately behind his 
father; and his charioteer, mindful of the orders he had re 
ceived, strove, in spite of the angry orders of the lad, to keep 
the chariot stationary; but the horses, accustomed to man 
oeuvre in line, were not to be restrained, and in spite of their 
driver's efforts charged down the slope with the rest. 

Amuba, who had hunted the lion and leopard, retained 
his coolness, and discharged his arrows among the Egyptians 
with steady aim. For a time the contest was doubtful. 
The Egyptian chariots crowded on the causeway were unable 
to move forward, and in many places their weight forced 
the faggots so deep in the mire that the vehicles were im 
movable. Meanwhile, along the swamp on both sides a 
terrible contest was going on. The Egyptians, covered by 
the fire of their arrows, succeeded in making their way 
across the swamp, but here they were met by the Rebu 
spearmen, and the fight raged along the whole line. 

Then two thousand chosen men, the body-guard of the 
Egyptian king, made their way across the swamp close to 
the causeway, while at the same time there was a movement 
among the densely packed vehicles. A tremendous impulse 
was given to them from behind : some were pressed off into 


the swamp, some were overthrown or trampled under foot, 
some were swept forward on to the firm ground beyond, 
and thus a mass of the heaviest chariots drawn by the most 
powerful horses forced their way across the causeway over 
all obstacles. 

In their midst was the King of Egypt himself, the great 

The weight and impetus of the mass of horses and chariots 
pressed all before it up the hill. This gave to the chariots 
which came on behind room to open to the right and left. 
The king's body-guard shook the solid formation of the 
Rebu spearmen with their thick flights of arrows, and the 
chariots then dashed in among them. The Rebu fought with 
the valour of their race. The Egyptians who first charged 
among them fell pierced with their arrows, while their 
horses were stabbed in innumerable places. But as the 
stream of chariots poured over without a check, and charged 
in sections upon them, bursting their way through the mass 
of footmen by the force and fury with which they charged, 
the infantry became broken up into groups, each fighting 
doggedly and desperately. 

At this moment the officer in command of the Rebu horse, 
a thousand strong, charged down upon the Egyptian chariot?, 
drove them back towards the swamp, and for a time restored 
the conflict; but the breaks which had occurred between the 
Rebu centre and its two flanks had enabled the Egyptian 
body-guard to thrust themselves through and to fall upon 
the Rebu chariots and spearmen, who were still maintaining 
the desperate conflict. The Rebu king had throughout fought 
in the front line of his men, inspiriting them with his voice 
and valour. Many times, when his chariot was so jammed 
in the mass that all movement was impossible, he leapt to 
the ground, and, making his way through the throng, slew 
many of the occupants of the Egyptian chariots. 

But his efforts and those of his captains were unavailing. 
The weight of the attack was irresistible. The solid phalanx 


of Egyptian chariots pressed onward, and the Rebu were 
forced steadily back Their chariots, enormously outnum 
bered, were destroyed rather than defeated. The horses fell 
pierced by the terrible rain of arrows, and the wave of 
Egyptians passed over them. The king, looking round in 
his chariot, saw that all was lost here, and that the only 
hope was to gain one or other of the masses of his infantry 
on the flank, and to lead them off the field in solid order. 
But as he turned to give orders, a shaft sent by a bowman 
in a chariot a few yards away struck him in the eye, and he 
fell back dead in his chariot. 



AMUBA saw his father fall, and leaping from his chariot, 
strove to make his way through the mingled mass of 
footmen and chariots to the spot. Jethro followed close 
behind him. He, too, had caught sight of the falling figure, 
and knew what Amuba did not that the Rebu had lost 
their king. He was not forgetful of the charge which had 
been laid on him, but the lad was for a moment beyond his 
control, and he, too, was filled with fury at the fall of the 
king, and determined if possible to save his body. He 
reached Amuba's side just in time to interpose his shield 
between the boy and an Egyptian archer in a chariot he 
was passing. The arrow pierced the shield and the arm that 
held it. Jethro paused an instant, broke off the shaft at 
the shield, and seizing the point, which was projecting 
two inches beyond the flesh, pulled the arrow through the 

It was but a moment's work, but short as it was it almost 


cost Amuba his life, for the archer, leaning forward, dropt 
the end of his bow over the lad's head a trick common 
among the Egyptian archers and in a moment dragged him 
to the ground, while his comrade in the chariot raised his 
spear to despatch him. Jethro sprang forward with a shout 
of rage, and with a blow of his sword struck off' the head of 
the spear as it was descending. Then shortening his sword, 
he sprang into the chariot, ran the man holding the bow 
through the body, and grappled with the spearman. 

The struggle was a short one. Leaving his sword in the 
body of the archer, Jethro drew his dagger and speedily 
despatched his foe. Then he jumped down, and lifting 
Amuba, who was insensible from the sharp jerk of the bow 
string upon his throat and the violence of his fall, carried 
him back to his chariot. This with the greatest difficulty 
he managed to draw out of the heat of the conflict, which 
was for the moment raging more fiercely than before. The 
Rebu who had seen the fall of their king had dashed for 
ward to rescue the body and to avenge his death. They 
cleared a space round him, and as it was impossible to extri 
cate his chariot, they carried his body through the chaos of 
plunging horses, broken chariots, and fiercely struggling 
men to the rear. 

Then it was placed in another chariot, and the driver 
started with it at full speed for the city. Jethro, on emerg 
ing from the crowd, paused for a moment to look round. 
He saw at once that the battle was lost. The centre was 
utterly broken, and the masses of the Egyptians who had 
crossed the swamp were pressing heavily on the flanks of the 
Rebu footmen, who were still opposing a firm stand to those 
attacking them in front. For the moment the passage of the 
Egyptian chariots was arrested; so choked was the causeway 
with chariots and horses which were embedded in the mire, 
or had sunk between the faggots, that further passage was 
impossible, and a large body of footmen were now forming 
a fresh causeway by the side of the other. 


This would soon be completed, for they were now working 
undisturbed by opposition, and Jethro saw that as soon as 
it was done the Egyptian host would sweep across and fall 
upon the rear of the Rebu. Jethro ran up to two mounted 
men, badly wounded, who had like himself made their way 
out of the fight. 

"See," he said, "in a quarter of an hour a new causeway 
will be completed, and the Egyptians will pour over. In 
that case resistance will be impossible, and all will be lost. 
Do one of you ride to each flank and tell the captains that 
the king is dead, that there are none to give orders here, 
and that their only chance to save their troops is to retreat 
at full speed but keeping good order to the city." 

The horsemen rode off immediately, for Jethro, as the 
king's own charioteer, was a man of some importance. After 
despatching the messengers he returned to his chariot and 
at once drove off. Amuba was now recovering, and the 
rough motion of the vehicle as it dashed along at full speed 
aroused him. 

" What is it, Jethro? What has happened?" 

"The battle is lost, prince, and I am conveying you back 
to the city. You have had a rough fall and a narrow escape 
of your life, and can do no more fighting even if fighting 
were of any good, which it is not." 

"And the king, my father?" Amuba said, struggling to 
his feet. "What of him? Did I not see him fall?" 

"I know nought of him for certain," Jethro replied. 
"There was a terrible fight raging, and as I had you to 
carry out I could take no share in it. Besides, I had an 
arrow through my left arm if I had been a moment later it 
would have gone through your body instead. And now, if 
you do not mind taking the reins, I will bandage it up. I 
have not had time to think about it yet, but it is bleeding 
fast, and I begin to feel faint." 

This was indeed true ; but Jethro had called Amuba's 
attention to his wound principally for the sake of diverting 


his thoughts for a moment from his fear for his father. As 
Amuba drove, he looked back. The plain behind him was 
covered with a mass of fugitives. 

"I see that all is lost," he said mournfully. "But how is 
it that we are not pursued?" 

"We shall be pursued before long," Jethro answered. 
"But I fancy that few of the Egyptian chariots which first 
passed are in a condition to follow. Most of them have lost 
horses or drivers. Numbers were broken to pieces in the 
mel6e. But they are making a fresh causeway, and when 
that is completed those who cross will take up the pursuit. 
As for their footmen, they have small chance of catching 
the Rebu." 

" Surely our men ought to retreat in good order, Jethro. 
Scattered as they are, they will be slaughtered in thousands 
by the Egyptian chariots." 

"They could not oppose much resistance to them anyhow," 
Jethro replied. "On a plain footmen cannot withstand a 
chariot charge. As it is, many will doubtless fall ; but they 
will scatter to the right and left, numbers will reach the hills 
in safety, some will take refuge in woods and jungles, while 
many will outrun the chariots. The new causeway is narrow, 
and a few only can cross abreast, and thus, though many of 
our men will be overtaken and killed, I trust that the greater 
part will escape." 

"Let us draw up here for a short time, Jethro. I see 
there are several chariots and some horsemen behind, and as 
they are with the main body of the fugitives, they are doubt 
less friends. Let us join them, and proceed in a body to the 
town. I should not like to be the first to enter with the news 
of our defeat." 

"You are right, prince. As our horses are good, we need 
not fear being overtaken. We can therefore wait a few 

A score of chariots presently came up, and all halted on 
seeing Amuba. One of them contained Amusis, the chief 


captain of the army. He leaped from his chariot when he 
saw Amuba, and advanced to him. 

"Prince," he said, "why do you delay? I rejoice at see 
ing that you have escaped in the battle, for I marked you 
bravely fighting in the midst; but let me beg you to 
hasten on. A few minutes and the host of Egyptian chariots 
will be upon us." 

"I am ready to proceed, Amusis, since you have come. 
Have you any news of my father 1 " 

" The king has been sorely wounded," the general said, 
"and was carried off out of the battle; but come, prince, we 
must hasten on. Our presence will be sorely needed in the 
city, and we must get all in readiness for defence before the 
Egyptians arrive." 

The chariots again started, and reached the city without 
seeing anything of the Egyptians, who did not indeed arrive 
before the walls until an hour later, having been delayed by 
the slaughter of the fugitives. As the party entered the 
town they found confusion and terror prevailing. The 
arrival of the body of the king was the first intimation of 
disaster, and this had been followed by several horsemen 
and chariots, who had spread the news of the defeat of the 
army. The cries of women filled the air; some in their 
grief and terror ran wildly here and there; some sat at 
their doors with their faces hidden by their hands, wailing 
loudly; others tore their garments and behaved as if de 

On their way to the palace they met the troops who had 
been left behind to guard the city, moving down stern and 
silent to take their places on the wall. During the drive 
Amusis, who had driven in Amuba's chariot, had broken to 
the boy the news that his father was dead, and Arnuba was 
prepared for the loud lamentation of women which met him 
as he entered the royal inclosure. 

" I will see my mother," he said to Amusis, " and then ) 
will come down with you to the walls and will take what- 


ever part you may assign me in the defence. It is to your 
experience and valour we must now trust." 

" I will do all that I can, prince. The walls are strong, 
and if, as I hope, the greater part of our army find their way 
back, I trust we may be able to defend ourselves successfully 
against the Egyptian host Assure your royal mother of my 
deep sympathy for her in her sorrow, and of my devotion 
to her personally." 

The general now drove off, and Amuba entered the royal 
dwellings. In the principal apartment the body of the king 
was laid upon a couch in the middle of the room. The 
queen stood beside it in silent grief, while the attendants 
raised loud cries, wrung their hands, and filled the air with 
their lamentation, mingled with praises of the character and 
bravery of the king. Amuba advanced to his mother's side. 
She turned and threw her arms round him. 

"Thank the gods, my son, that you are restored to me; 
but what a loss, what a terrible loss is ours ! " 

" It is indeed, mother. No better father ever lived than 
mine. But I pray you, mother, !ay aside your grief for a 
while; we shall have time to weep and mourn for him 
afterwards. We have need of all our courage. In a few 
hours the Egyptian hosts will be before our walls, and every 
arm will be needed for their defence. I am going down to 
take my place among the men, to do what I can to encourage 
them; but the confusion in the city is terrible. None know 
whether they have lost husbands or fathers, and the cries 
and lamentations of the women cannot but dispirit and dis 
hearten the men. I think, mother, that you might do much 
if you would ; and I am sure that my father in his resting- 
place with the gods would far rather see you devoting your 
self to the safety of his people than to lamentations here." 

" What would you have me do 1 " 

" I should say, mother, mount a chariot and drive through 
the streets of the town; bid the women follow the example 
of their queen and defer their lamentation for the fallen 


until the foe has been repelled. Bid each do her part in 
the defence of the city; there is work for all stones to be 
carried to the walls, food to be cooked for the fighting men, 
hides to be prepared in readiness to be carried to the ram 
parts where the attack is hottest, to shield our soldiers from 
arrows. In these and other tasks all can find employment, 
and, in thus working for the defence of the town, the women 
would find distraction from their sorrows and anxieties." 

" Your advice is wise, Amuba, and I will follow it. Order 
a chariot to be brought down. My maidens shall come with 
me; and see that two trumpeters are in readiness to precede 
us. This will ensure attention and silence, and my words 
will be heard as we pass along. How did you escape from 
the conflict?" 

" The faithful Jethro bore me off, mother, or I, too, should 
have fallen; and now, with your permission, I will go to the 

"Do so, Amuba, and may the gods preserve you. You 
must partake of some food before you go, for you will need 
all your strength, my son." 

Amuba hastily ate the food that was placed before him 
in another apartment, and drank a goblet of wine, and then 
hurried down to the wall. 

The scene was a heart-rending one. All over the plain 
were scattered groups of men hurrying towards the city, 
while among them dashed the Egyptian chariots, overthrow 
ing and slaying them ; but not without resistance. The Rebu 
were well disciplined, and, as the chariots thundered up, 
little groups gathered together, shield overlapping shield, 
and spears projecting, while those within the circle shot 
their arrows or whirled stones from their slings. The 
horses wounded by the arrows often refused to obey their 
drivers, but rushed headlong across the plain ; others charged 
up only to fall pierced with the spears, while the chariots 
were often empty of their occupants before they broke into 
the phalanx. 


Thus, although many fell, many succeeded in gaining 
the gates of the town, and the number of men available for 
the defence had already largely increased when Amuba 
reached the walls. Although the Egyptian chariots came 
up in great numbers, night fell without the appearance of 
the main body of the Egyptian army. After darkness set in 
great numbers of the Rebu troops who had escaped to the 
hills made their way into the town. The men of the con-* 
tingents furnished by the other Rebu cities naturally made 
their way direct to their homes, but before morning the six 
thousand men left behind to guard the city when the army 
set out had been swelled to four times their numbers. 

Although this was little more than half the force which 
had marched out to battle, the return of so large a number 
of the fugitives caused a great abatement of the panic and 
misery that had prevailed. The women whose husbands or 
sons had returned rejoiced over those whom they had re 
garded as lost, while those whose friends had not yet returned 
gained hopes from the narratives of the fresh comers that 
their loved ones might also have survived, and would ere 
long make their way back. The example of the queen had 
already done much to restore confidence. All knew the 
affection that existed between the king and her, and the 
women all felt that if she could lay aside her deep sorrow, 
and set such an example of calmness and courage at such a 
time, it behoved all others to set aside their anxieties and 
to do their best for the defence of the town. 

Amusis gave orders that all those who had returned from 
battle should rest for the night in their homes, the troops 
who had remained in the city keeping guard upon the walls. 
In the morning, however, all collected at the trumpet-call, 
and were formed up according to the companies and batta 
lions to which they belonged. Of some of these which had 
borne the brunt of the combat there were but a handful of 
survivors, while of others the greater portion were present; 
weak battalions were joined to the strong, fresh officers were 


appointed to take the place of those who were missing; the 
arms were examined, and all deficiencies made good from 
the public stores. 

Ten thousand men were set aside as a reserve to be 
brought up to the points most threatened, while to the rest 
were allotted those portions of the wall which they were to 
occupy. As soon as morning broke the women recommenced 
the work that had been interrupted by night, making their 
way to the walls in long trains, carrying baskets of stones 
on their heads. Disused houses were pulled down for the 
sake of their stones and timber, parties of women with 
ropes dragging the latter to the walls in readiness to be 
hurled down upon the heads of the enemy. Even the children 
joined in the work, carrying small baskets of earth to those 
portions of the wall which Amusis had ordered to be 

The position of the city had been chosen with a view to 
defence. It stood on a plateau of rock raised some fifty feet 
above the plain. The Caspian washed its eastern face; on 
the other three sides a high wall, composed of earth roughly 
faced with stones, ran along at the edge of the plateau, above 
it, at distances of fifty yards apart, rose towers. The entire 
circuit of the walls was about three miles. Since its foun 
dation by the grandfather of the late king the town had 
never been taken, although several times besieged, and the 
Rebu had strong hopes that here, when the chariots of the 
Egyptians were no longer to be feared, they could oppose 
a successful resistance to all the efforts of the enemy. 

At noon the Egyptian army was seen advancing, and, 
confident as the defenders of the city felt, they could not 
resist a feeling of apprehension at the enormous force which 
was seen upon the plain. The Egyptian army was over 
three hundred thousand strong. It moved in regular order 
according to the arms or nationality of the men. Here 
were Nubians, Sardinians, Etruscans, Oscans, Dauni, Maxyes, 
Kanaka a race from Iberia, and bodies of other mercenaries 

(481) C 


from every tribe and people with whom the Egyptians had 
any dealings. 

The Sardinians bore round shields, three or four spears 
or javelins, a long straight dagger, and a helmet surmounted 
by a spike, with a ball at the top. The Etruscans carried no 
shields, and instead of the straight dagger were armed with 
a heavy curved chopping-knif e ; their head-dress resembled 
somewhat in shape that now worn by the Armenians. The 
Dauni were Greek in the character of their arms, carrying a 
round shield, a single spear, a short straight sword, and a 
helmet of the shape of a cone. 

The Egyptians were divided according to their arms. 
There were regiments of archers, who carried, for close com 
bat, a slightly-curved stick of heavy wood ; other regiments 
of archers carried hatchets. The heavy infantry all bore the 
Egyptian shield, which was about three feet long. It was 
widest at the upper part, where it was semicircular, while 
the bottom was cut off straight. The shields had a boss 
near the upper part. Some regiments carried, in addition 
to the spears, heavy maces, others axes. Their helmets all 
fitted closely to the head; most of them wore metal tassels 
hanging from the top. The helmets were for the most part 
made of thick material, quilted and padded; these were pre 
ferred to metal, being a protection from the heat of the sun. 

Each company carried its own standard; these were all 
of religious character, and represented animals sacred to the 
gods, sacred boats, emblematic devices, or the names of the 
king or queen. These were in metal, and were raised at 
the end of spears or staves. The standard-bearers were all 
officers of approved valour. Behind the army followed an 
enormous baggage-train; and as soon as this had arrived on 
the ground the tents of the king and the principal officers 
were pitched. 

" What a host!" Jethro said to Amuba, who, after having 
his arm dressed on his arrival at the palace, had accompanied 
the young prince to the walls. "It seems a nation rather 


than an army. I do not wonder now that we were defeated 
yesterday, but that we so long held our ground, and that so 
many escaped from the battle." 

" It is wonderful, truly, Jethro. Look at the long line of 
chariots moving in as regular order as the footmen. It is 
well for us that they will now be forced to be inactive. As 
to the others, although they are countless in numbers, they 
cannot do much against our walls. No towers that they 
can erect upon the plains will place them on a level with us 
here, and the rock is so steep that it is only here and there 
that it can be climbed." 

"It would seem impossible for them to take it, prince; 
but we must not be too confident. We know that many 
towns which believed themselves impregnable have been 
captured by the Egyptians, and must be prepared for the 
most daring enterprises. The gates have been already 
fastened, and so great a thickness of rocks piled against them, 
that they are now the strongest part of the wall; those parts 
of the roads leading up to them that were formed of timber 
have been burned, and they cannot now reach the gates ex 
cept by climbing, as at other points. We have provisions 
enough to last for well-nigh a year, for all the harvest has 
been brought in from the whole district round, together with 
many thousands of cattle; of wells there are abundance." 

"Yes, I heard the preparations that were being made, 
Jethro, and doubt not that if we can resist the first on 
slaught of the Egyptians we can hold out far longer than 
they can, for the difficulty of victualling so huge an army will 
be immense. In what way do you think they will attack? 
For my part I do not see any method which offers a hope 
of success." 

"That I cannot tell you. We know that to us and to the 
peoples around our cities seem impregnable. But the Egyp 
tians are skilled in all the devices of war. They have laid 
siege to and captured great numbers of cities, and are 
doubtless full of plans and expedients of which we know 


nothing. However, to-morrow morning will show us some 
thing. Nothing will be attempted to-day. The generals 
have first to inspect our walU and see where the assault is 
to be delivered, and the army will be given a day's rest at 
least before being called upon to assault such a position." 

In the afternoon a cortege of chariots made the circuit of 
the walls from the shore of the sea round the great plateau 
to the sea again, keeping just beyond the range of arrows. 

" If we had but a few of their archers here," Jethro said, 
" the Egyptian king would not be so over bold in venturing 
so near. It is wonderful how strongly they shoot. Their 
arrows have fully double the range of ours, and their power 
is sufficient to carry them through the strongest shields, ever 
when strengthened with metal. Had I not seen it I should 
have thought it impossible that living men, and those no 
bigger or stronger than we, could have sent their arrows 
with such power. They stand in a different attitude to that 
of our archers, and though their shafts are fully a foot longer 
than ours they draw them to the head. I regarded myself 
as a good bowman till I met the Egyptians, and now I feel as 
a child might do when watching a man performing feats of 
strength of which he had not even imagined a possibility." 

In the evening the great council met It included all the 
principal officers of the army, the priests, the royal coun 
cillors, and the leading men in the state. After a discussion 
it was determined that in the present crisis it were best to 
postpone taking any steps to appoint a successor to the late 
king, but that so long as the siege lasted Amusis should be 
endowed with absolute powers. In order that there should 
be no loss of time for the necessity of consulting anyone 
Amuba was present with his mother at the council, though 
neither of them took any active part in it. But at its 
commencement an announcement was made in their name 
that they were willing to abide by whatever the council 
should decide, and that indeed both mother and son desired 
that while this terrible danger hung over the state the 


supreme power should be placed in the hands of whomso 
ever the general voice might select as the person best fitted 
to take the command in such an extremity. 

That night the body of the king was consumed on a great 
funeral pile. Under ordinary occasions the ceremony would 
have taken place on a narrow promontory jutting out into 
the sea, about five miles from the city. Here the previous 
monarchs had been consumed in sight of a multitude of 
their people, and had been buried beneath great mounds of 
earth. The priests had long ago pronounced this place the 
most sacred in the kingdom, and had declared that the anger 
of the gods would fall upon any who ventured to set foot 
upon the holy ground. But it was impossible for the present 
to lay the ashes of the king by the side of those of his fore 
fathers, and the ceremony was therefore conducted within 
the royal inclosure, only the officiating priests and the wife 
and son of the deceased being present. When all was over 
the ashes were collected and were placed in a casket, which 
was destined, when better times returned, to be laid, in the 
sight of the whole people, in the sacred inclosure on the 

Early next morning the trumpets of the guards on the 
walls called all the troops to arms. As soon as Amuba 
reached his post he saw the Egyptian army marching 
against the city. When they arrived within bow-shot the 
archers, who formed the front lines, opened fire upon the 
defenders on the walls. Their arrows, however, for the most 
part fell short, while those of the besieged rained down 
upon them with effect. They were therefore withdrawn a 
short distance, and contracting their ranks a vast number of 
footmen poured through, and in irregular order ran forward 
to the foot of the rock, where they were sheltered from the 
arrows of those on the wall. 

"What can they be going to do now?" Amuba ex 
claimed, laying aside his bow. 

Jethro shook his head. 


" They are working with a plan," he said. " We shall see 
before very long. Listen." 

Even above the din caused by so vast a multitude a sharp 
metallic sound was presently heard like that of innumerable 
hammers striking on steel 

" Surely," Amuba exclaimed, " they can never be thinking 
of quarrying the rock away! That is too great a task even 
were the whole people of Egypt here." 

"It certainly is not that," Jethro agreed; "and yet I 
cannot think what else can be their intentions." 

It was nigh an hour before the mystery was solved. 
Then, at the blast of a trumpet sounded at the post 
where the Egyptian king had placed himself, and taken up 
along the whole of the line, a great number of heads ap 
peared along the edge of rock at the foot of the walls. 
The Egyptians had been employed in driving spikes in the 
crevices of the rock Standing on the first so driven, they 
then inserted others three feet higher, and so had proceeded 
until a number of men had climbed up the face of the rock 
These let down ropes, and ladders had been hauled up the 
steepest places. Great numbers of ropes were hung down to 
assist those who followed in the ascent, and the men who first 
showed themselves over the brow were followed by a stream 
of others, until the ledge, which was in most cases but a few 
feet wide, was crowded with soldiers. 

The ladders were now hauled up and placed against the 
wall, and the Egyptians swarmed up in great numbers; but 
the Rebu were prepared for the assault, and a storm of 
stones, beams of wood, arrows, javelins, and other missiles 
rained down on the Egyptians. Many of the ladders, in spite 
of the number of men upon them, were thrown back by the 
defenders, and fell with a crash over the edge of the rock to 
the plain below. Here and there the Egyptians gained a 
footing on the wall before the Rebu had recovered from 
their first surprise at their daring manner of attack; but so 
soon as they rallied they attacked the Egyptians with such 


fury that in every case the latter were slain fighting or were 
thrown over the embattlements. 

For several hours the Egyptians continued their efforts, 
but after losing vast numbers of men without obtaining any 
success they were recalled by the sound of the trumpet. 

" That has not been very serious, Jethro," Amuba said, 
wiping the perspiration from his forehead; for he had been 
encouraging the men by assisting in the lifting and casting 
over the massive stones and beams of wood. 

" It was not difficult to repulse them under such condi 
tions," Jethro said; " but the manner of their attack was a 
surprise indeed to us, and they have fought with the 
greatest bravery. You will see that the next time they 
will have benefited by the lesson, and that we shall have 
some new device to cope with. Now that they have once 
found a way to scale the rock we may expect but little rest." 

The fight was not renewed until evening, when, just as 
darkness fell, a large number of the Egyptians again as 
cended the rock. As before, the Rebu poured missiles down 
upon them; but this time only a sufficient number had 
climbed up to be able to stand along close to the foot of the 
wall, where they were to a great extent sheltered from the 
missiles from above. The night was a dark one, and all 
night long the Rebu continued to shower down missiles upon 
their invisible foe, of whose continued presence they were 
assured by the sounds which from time to time were heard. 

When daylight enabled the defenders to see what was 
going on at the foot of their walls they raised a shout of 
surprise and dismay. During the night the Egyptians had 
hoisted up by ropes a quantity of the timber brought with 
them for the construction of shelters for those who were 
engaged on siege operations. The timbers were all cut and 
prepared for fitting together, and were easily jointed even 
in the dark Thus then, when the besiegers looked over, 
they saw forty or fifty of these shelters erected against the 
foot of their walls. They were so formed that they sloped 


down like a pent-house and were thickly covered with 

The besieged soon found that so solid were these con 
structions that the beams and great stones which they 
dropped upon them simply bounded off and leapt down into 
the plain. Ladders fastened together had been fixed by the 
Egyptians from each of these shelters to the plain below, so 
that the men at work could be relieved or reinforced as the 
occasion required. 

In vain the besieged showered down missiles, in vain 
poured over the cauldrons of boiling oil they had prepared 
in readiness. The strength of the beams defied the first, 
the hides lapping over each other prevented the second from 
penetrating to those below. 

" Truly these are terrible foes, prince," Jethro said. " 1 
told you that we might expect new plans and devices, but 
I did not think that the very day after the siege began we 
should find that they had overcome all the difficulties of our 
natural defences, and should have established themselves in 
safety at the foot of our walls." 

"But what is to be done, Jethro? The men working in 
those shelters will speedily dislodge these stones facing the 
walls, and will then without difficulty dig through the earth 
work behind." 

" The matter is serious," Jethro agreed; " but as yet there 
is no reason to alarm ourselves. The greater portion of our 
troops will be assembled behind the wall, and should the 
Egyptians gain a way through we should pour in at the 
openings, and, as they can be only reinforced slowly, would 
speedily hurl them all over the edge of the clif It is not 
that I fear." 

" What is it that you do fear, Jethro?" 

" I fear, prince, because I do not know what it is I have 
to fear. We are as children in a struggle of this kind as 
opposed to the Egyptians. Already they have wholly over 
thrown all our calculations, and it is just because I do not 


know what they will do next that I am afraid. It must be 
as plain to them as it is to us, that if they dig through the 
walls we shall rush in and overpower them." 

"Perhaps they intend to work right and left and to under 
mine the walls, until large portions of them tumble over and 
breaches are made." 

Jethro shook his head. 

" That would destroy the Egyptian shelters and bury their 
workmen; or, even did they manage to retire before the 
walls fell, they would gain nothing by it In fact, I wish that 
we ourselves could tumble the walls over, for in that case 
the heap of earth and stones would rise from the very edge 
of the rock, and as the Egyptians could only climb up in 
small numbers at a time, we could destroy them without 
difficulty. I see now that our builders made a mistake in 
surrounding the city with a high wall ; it would have been 
best to have built a mere breastwork at the very edge of the 
cliff all round. Here comes Amusis; we shall hear what 
his opinion of the matter is." 

Amusis looked flushed and anxious, although, when he saw 
the prince, he assumed an expression of carelessness. 

" The Egyptians are going to burrow through our walls," 
he said; " but when they do we will drive them like rats out 
of the holes. Do you not think so, Jethro 1" 

"I do not know," Jethro said gravely. "If they dig 
through our walls we shall certainly, as you say, drive them 
out of their holes; but I cannot believe that that is what 
they are going to do." 

" What do you think they are going to do ?" Amusis asked 

"I have no idea, Amusis. I wish that I had; but I am 
quite sure that they haven't taken all this trouble for 




SO confident were the Rebu that if the Egyptians dug 
through their walls, or even threw them down by 
undermining them, they could repel their assault, that they 
took but little heed to the huts established at the foot of 
the wall, except that a strong body of men were stationed 
behind the walls, half of whom were always to be under 
arms in readiness to repel the Egyptians should they bur 
row through. This confidence proved their ruin. The 
Egyptians were thoroughly accustomed to mining opera 
tions, and were fully aware that were they to pierce the 
wall the Rebu could at once overwhelm the small working 
parties; they therefore, after penetrating a considerable dis 
tance into the embankment, drove right and left making 
an excavation of considerable size, the roof being supported 
by beams and planks hauled up at night 

The number of those employed in the work was increased 
as fast as there was room for them; and, while the Rebu 
thought that there were at most a dozen men in each of the 
sheltered places, there were, at the end of twenty-four hours, 
fully two hundred men at work in the heart of the embank 
ment at each point. The Egyptian king had ordered the 
chief of his engineers to have everything in readiness for the 
capture of the city by the end of the third day. 

Each night the numbers of workmen increased, while the 
excavations were carried in further and further. No picks 
were used in the work, the earth being cut away with wide 
daggers. Absolute silence was enjoined among the workers, 
and they were thus enabled to extend their excavations close 
to the surface without the defenders having an idea 
of their proximity. The distance that they were from the 


inner face was ascertained by boring through at night-time 
with spears. By the end of the third day the excavations 
had been carried so far that there was but a foot or so of 
earth remaining, this being kept from moving, on pressure 
from the outside, by a lining of boards supported by beams. 
Thus at twenty points the Egyptians were in readiness to 
burst through among the unsuspecting defenders. 

As soon as it was dark the preparations for the assault 
began. Great numbers of stagings of vast length had been 
prepared, together with an immense number of broad and 
lofty ladders. These last were brought forward noiselessly 
to the foot of the cliff, and great numbers of the Egyptians 
mounted before the alarm was given by those on the walls. 
But by this time the excavations were all crowded with men. 
The Egyptian army now advanced with shouts to the assault. 
The great stages were brought forward by the labour of 
thousands of men and placed against the cliff. 

The besieged had now rushed to defend the walls, and 
volleys of missiles of all sorts were poured down upon the 
Egyptians as they strove to mount the ladders and stages. 
No one thought of any possible danger from the little shelters 
lying at the foot of the wall, and the din was so great that 
the work of digging through the remaining wall of earth was 
unheard. The troops who had been specially told off to 
watch these points had joined their comrades on the walls, 
and none marked the stream of dark figures which presently 
began to pour out from the embankment at twenty different 

At last the besieged, whose hopes were rising as the 
Egyptians appeared to falter under the showers of missiles 
poured down, were startled by the sound of a trumpet in 
their rear a sound which was answered instantly from a 
score of points. Rushing with cries of dismay to the back 
of the rampart, they saw dark bodies of footmen drawn up 
in regular order, and a rain of arrows was opened upon them. 
The Rebu, without a moment's hesitation, rushed down to 


attack the foes who had gained a footing, they scarce knew 
how, in their fortress. But each of the Egyptian companies 
was four hundred strong, composed of picked troops, and 
these for a time easily beat off the irregular attacks of the 

Amusis and the other leaders of the Rebu strove to get 
their men into solid order, for so alone could they hope to 
break the phalanxes of the Egyptians; but the confusion was 
too great. In the meantime the Egyptians outside had taken 
advantage of the diversion created by the attack within, and 
poured up their ladders and stagings in vast numbers. Some 
dragging up ladders after them planted them against the 
walls, others poured through by the passages which had been 
dug, and these, as soon as they were numerous enough, as 
cended the embankments from behind and fell upon the 
Rebu still defending the wall. 

Never did the tribesmen fight with greater bravery; but 
the completeness of the surprise, the number of the Egyptians 
who had established themselves in their rear, the constant 
pushing in of reinforcements both through and over the wall, 
rendered it impossible for them to retrieve their fortunes; 
and in the confusion and darkness they were unable to 
distinguish friend from foe. The various battalions and 
companies were hopelessly mixed together; the orders of 
their leaders and officers were unheard in the din. 

Upon the Egyptian side everything had been carefully 
planned. One of the companies which first entered had 
made their way quietly along the foot of the wall, and were 
not noticed until they suddenly threw themselves upon the 
defenders of one of the gates. As soon as they had obtained 
possession of this great fires were lighted, and a large body 
of Egyptian troops, headed by engineers carrying beams and 
planks, advanced. The gaps across the roadway were bridged 
over, and the Egyptians poured in at the gate before the Rebu 
could dislodge the party which had taken possession of it. 
Every moment added to the confusion of the scene. To the 


Rebu it seemed as if their foes were springing from the very 
earth upon them, and, despairing of regaining the ground 
that had been lost, they began to break away and make 
some for their homes, some for the water face of the city 
the only one which was open to them, for the Egyptians were 
now pressing forward from the three other faces of the town. 
The boats lying along the sand were quickly crowded with 
fugitives and pushed off from shore, and those who arrived 
later found all means of escape gone. Some threw down 
their arms and made their way to their homes, others ran 
back to meet the Egyptians and die fighting. 

It was some hours before the conflict ceased, for the 
Egyptians too were confused with the darkness, and many 
desperate fights took place between different battalions be 
fore they discovered they were friends. Light was gained 
by firing numbers of the houses lying nearest to the walls; 
but as soon as the Egyptians advanced beyond the arc of 
light they were fiercely attacked by the Rebu, and at last 
the trumpet sounded the order for the troops to remain in 
the positions they occupied until daylight. 

As soon as morning broke a vast crowd of women were 
seen advancing from the centre of the town. As they neared 
the Egyptians they threw themselves on the ground with 
loud cries for mercy. There was a pause; and then some 
Egyptian officers advanced and bade a score of the women fol 
low them to the presence of the king. Thotmes had entered 
with the troops who made their way into the city by the 
gate, but yielding to the entreaties of the officers that he 
would not expose himself to be killed in the confusion, per 
haps by an arrow shot by his own soldiers, he had retired 
to the plain, and had just returned to take part in the 
occupation of the city. 

The Rebu women were led to him over ground thickly 
covered with dead. Fully half the defenders of the city had 
fallen, while the loss of the Egyptians had been almost as 
large. The women threw themselves on their faces before 


the great monarch and implored mercy for themselves, their 
children, and the remnant of the men of the city. 

Thotmes was well satisfied. He had captured a city which 
was regarded as impregnable; he had crushed the people 
who had inflicted defeats upon his predecessors; he had 
added to his own glory and to the renown of the Egyptian 
arms. The disposition of the Egyptians was lenient. Human 
sacrifices were unknown to their religion, and they do not 
appear at any time to have slain in cold blood captives taken 
in war. Human life was held at a far higher value in Egypt 
than among any other nation of antiquity, and the whole 
teaching of their laws tended to create a disposition towards 

An interpreter translated to the king the words of the 

"Has all resistance ceased?" the king asked. "Have all 
the men laid down their arms?" 

The women exclaimed that there was not now an armed 
man in the city, all the weapons having been collected dur 
ing the night and placed in piles in the open space in front 
of the entrance to the palace. 

" Then I give to all their lives," the king said graciously. 
" When I fight with cowards I have little mercy upon them, 
for men who are not brave are unfit to live; but when I 
fight with men I treat them as men. The Rebu are a valiant 
people, but as well might the jackal fight with the lion as 
the Rebu oppose themselves to the might of Egypt. They 
fought bravely in the field, and they have bravely defended 
their walls; therefore I grant life to all in the city men, 
women, and children. Where is your king?" 

" He died in the battle four days since," the women replied. 

"Where is your queen?" 

" She drank poison last night, preferring to join her hus 
band than to survive the capture of the city." 

Thotmes had now ordered the whole of the inhabitants 
to be taken out to the plain and kept there under a guard. 


The town was then methodically searched and everything 
of value brought together. The king set aside a certain 
portion of the golden vessels for the services of the Temple, 
some he chose for himself, and after presenting others to 
his generals, ordered the rest to be divided among the 
troops. He then ordered a hundred captives fifty young 
men and fifty maidens of the highest rank to be selected 
to be taken to Egypt as slaves, and then fixed the tribute 
which the Eebu were in future to pay. The army then 
evacuated the city and the inhabitants were permitted to 

The next day messengers arrived from the other Eebu 
towns. The fall of the capital, which had been believed to 
be impregnable, after so short a siege had struck terror into 
the minds of all, and the messengers brought offers of sub 
mission to the king, with promises to pay any tribute that 
he might lay upon them. 

The king, well satisfied with his success and anxious to 
return to Egypt, from which he had been absent nearly two 
years, replied graciously to the various deputations, inform 
ing them that he had already fixed the tribute that the 
nation was to pay annually, and ordered a contribution to 
be sent in at once by each city in proportion to its size. In 
a few days the required sums, partly in money, partly in 
vessels of gold, embroidered robes, and other articles of 
value, were brought in. When the full amount had been 
received the camp was struck and the army started on their 
long march back to Egypt, an officer of high rank being left 
as governor of the newly-captured province, with ten thousand 
men as a garrison. 

Amuba was one of the fifty selected as slaves. Amusis had 
escaped in the confusion, as had many others. Jethro was 
also one of the selected band. Amuba was for a time care 
less of what befell him. The news of the death of his 
mother, which had met him as, after fighting to the last, he 
returned to the palace, had been a terrible blow, following 


as it did so closely upon the loss of his father and the over 
throw of the nation. His mother had left the message for 
him that, although as life had no longer a charm for her, she 
preferred death to the humiliation of being carried a prisoner 
to Egypt, she trusted that he would bear the misfortunes 
which had fallen on him and his people with submission and 
patience; he was young, and there was no saying what the 
future had in store for him. 

"You will doubtless, my son," were the words of her 
message, " be carried away captive into Egypt, but you may 
yet escape some day and rejoin your people, or may meet 
with some lot in which you may find contentment or even 
happiness there. At any rate my last words to you are, bear 
patiently whatever may befall you, remember always that 
your father was King of the Rebu, and, whatever your 
station in life may be, try to be worthy of the rank to 
which you were born. There is no greater happiness on a 
throne than in a cottage. Men make their own happiness, 
and a man may be respected even though only a slave. 
May the gods of your country preside over and protect you 

The message was delivered by an old woman who had 
been with the queen since her birth, and, struck down with 
grief as Amuba was at his mother's death, he yet acknow 
ledged to himself that even this loss was less hard to bear 
than the knowledge that she who had been so loved and 
honoured by the people should undergo the humiliation of 
being dragged a slave in the train of the conquering Egyp 
tians. He was, however, so prostrate with grief that he 
obeyed with indifference the order to leave the city, and was 
scarcely moved when the Egyptian officer appointed to make 
the selection chose him as one of the party that were to be 
taken as slaves to Egypt. 

Prostrate as he was, however, he felt it to be a satisfaction 
and comfort when he found that Jethro was also of the party 
set aside. 


"It is selfish, Jethro," he said, "for me to feel glad that 
you too are to be dragged away as a slave, but it will be 
a great comfort to have you with me. I know almost all 
the others of the party, but to none shall I be able to talk 
of my father and mother and my home here as I should to 
you whom I have known so long." 

"I am not sorry that I have been chosen," Jethro said, 
" for I have no family ties, and now that the Rebu are a 
conquered people I should have little satisfaction in my 
life here. When we get to Egypt we shall probably be 
separated, but there is a march of months' duration before 
us, and during that time we may at least be together; since, 
then, my being with you is as you say, prince, a comfort to 
you, I am well content that I have been chosen. I thought 
it a hard thing when my wife died but a few weeks after 
our marriage. Now I rejoice that it was so, and that I can 
leave without anyone's heart being wrung at my departure. 
You and I, prince, perhaps of all those chosen will feel the 
least misery at the fate that has befallen us. Most of those 
here are leaving wives and children behind; some of the 
youngest are still unmarried, but they have fathers and 
mothers from whom they will be separated. Therefore, 4et 
us not bemoan our lot, for it might have been worse, and 
our life in Egypt may not be wholly unbearable." 

" That is just what my dear mother said, Jethro," Amuba 
replied, repeating the message the queen had sent him. 

" My dear mistress was right," Jethro said. " We may 
find happiness in Egypt as elsewhere; and now let us try to 
cheer up our companions, for in cheering them we shall 
forget our own misfortunes." 

Jethro and Amuba went among the rest of the captives, 
most of whom were prostrated with grief, and did their best 
to rouse them from their stupor. 

" The Egyptians have seen that the Eebu are men in the 
field," Amuba said to some of them. " Let them see that 
we can also bear misfortune like men. Grieving will not 

(481) D 


mitigate our lot, nay, it will add to its burden. If the 
Egyptians see that we bear our fate manfully they will have 
far more compassion upon us than if they see that we be 
moan ourselves. Eemember we have a long and toilsome 
journey before us, and shall need all our strength. After 
all the hardship of our lot is as nothing to that of the 
women yonder. We are accustomed to exercise and toil, 
but the journey, which we can support as well as the Egyp 
tians, will be terrible to them, delicate in nature as they 
are. Let us therefore set them an example of courage and 
patience, let us bear ourselves as men whose suffering is 
unmerited, who have been conquered but not disgraced, 
who are prepared to defy fate and not to succumb to it." 

Amuba's words had a great effect upon the captives. 
They regarded him with respect as the son of their late 
king, and as one who would have been king himself had 
not this misfortune misf alien them; and his calmness and 
manly speech encouraged them to strive against their grief 
and to look their fate more hopefully in the face. As long 
as the army remained in camp the hands of the captives 
were tied behind them, but when the march was begun they 
were relieved of their bonds and were placed in the centre 
of one of the Egyptian regiments. 

It was a long and tedious journey. On the way the train 
of captives was very largely increased by those who had been 
taken in the earlier conquests of the army, and who had been 
left in charge of the troops told off to the various provinces 
brought into subjection by the Egyptians until the army 
passed through on its homeward march. Provisions had 
been everywhere collected to supply it on its progress, and 
as the distance traversed each day was small the captives 
suffered but little until they entered upon the passage of 
the desert tract between the southern point of Syria and 
the mouth of the Nile. 

Here, although vast quantities of water were carried in 
the train of the army, the supply given to the captives was 



extremely small, and as the sun blazed down with tre 
mendous heat, and they were half suffocated by the dust 
which rose in clouds under the feet of the vast body of men, 
their sufferings were very severe. The Rebu captives had 
gained the respect of the troops who escorted them by 
their manly bearing and the absence of the manifestations 
of grief which were betrayed by most of the other captives. 
The regiment was composed of Lybian mercenaries, hardy, 
active men, inured alike to heat and fatigue. 

During the three months which the march had occupied, 
Amuba and Jethro, and indeed most of the captives, had 
acquired some knowledge of the Egyptian language. Jethro 
had from the first impressed upon the young prince the 
great advantage this would be to them. In the first place it 
would divert their thoughts from dwelling upon the past, 
and in the second it would make their lot more bearable in 

" You must remember," he said " that we shall be slaves, 
and masters are not patient with their slaves. They give 
them orders, and if the order is not understood so much 
the worse for the slaves. It will add to our value, and 
therefore obtain for us better treatment, if we are able to 
converse in their tongue." 

Amuba was thankful indeed when the gray monotony 
of the desert was succeeded by the bright verdure of the 
plains of Egypt. As they entered the land the order in 
which they had inarched was changed, and the long line of 
captives followed immediately after the chariot of the king. 
Each of them was laden with a portion of the spoil taken 
from their native country. Amuba bore on his head a large 
golden vase which had been used in the ceremonies of the 
temple. Jethro carried a rich helmet and armour which had 
belonged to the king. 

The first city they entered Amuba was astonished at the 
massive splendour of the buildings and at the signs of com 
fort and wealth which everywhere met his eye. The streets 


were thronged with people who, bending to the ground, 
shouted their acclamations as the king passed along, and who 
gazed with interest and surprise at the long procession of 
captives representing the various nations who had been sub 
jected to his arms. Most of all he was surprised at the 
temples with their long avenues of sphinxes, the gigantic 
figures representing the gods, the rows of massive pillars, 
the majesty and grandeur of the edifices themselves. 

"How were they built, Jethro?" he exclaimed over and 
again. "How were these massive stones placed in order? 
How did they drag these huge figures across the plains'? 
What tools could they have used to carve them out of the 
solid granite 1 ?" 

"I am afraid, Amuba," Jethro said grimly, for the lad 
had positively forbidden him to address him any longer as 
prince, saying that such title addressed to a slave was no 
better than mockery, "we are likely to learn to our cost 
before long how they manage these marvels, for marvels 
they assuredly are. It must have taken the strength of 
thousands of men to have transported even one of these 
strange figures, and although the people themselves may 
have aided in the work, you may be sure the slaves bore 
the brunt of it." 

" But what is the meaning of these figures, Jethro 1 Surely 
neither in this country nor in any other are there creatures 
with the faces of women and the bodies of lions and great 
wings such as these have. Some, too, have the faces of 
men and the bodies of bulls, while others have heads like 
birds and bodies like those of men." 

"Assuredly there can be no such creatures, Amuba; and 
I wonder that a people so enlightened and wise as the 
Egyptians should chose such strange figures for their gods. 
I can only suppose that these figures represent their attri 
butes rather than the gods themselves. Do you see, the 
human head may represent their intelligence, the bodies of 
the lions or bulls their strength and power, the wings of the 


bird their swiftness. I do not know that it is so, but it 
seems to me that it is possible that it may be something of 
this sort. We cannot but allow that their gods are powerful 
since they give them victory over all other people; but no 
doubt we shall learn more of them and of many other things 
in time." 

The journey was continued for another three weeks, and 
was the cause of constant surprises to the captives. The 
extraordinary fertility of the land especially struck them. 
Cultivation among the Rebu was of a very primitive de 
scription, and the abundance and variety of the crops that 
everywhere met their eye seemed to them absolutely mar 
vellous. Irrigation was not wholly unknown to the Rebu, 
and was carried on to a considerable extent in Persia; but 
the enormous works for the purpose in Egypt, the massive 
embankments of the river, the network of canals and ditches, 
the order and method everywhere apparent filled them with 
surprise and admiration. 

Many of the cities and temples greatly surpassed in mag 
nificence and splendour those they had first met with, and 
Amuba's wonder reached its climax when they arrived at 
Memphis, till lately the capital of Egypt. The wealth and 
contents of the city astonished the captives, but most of all 
were they surprised when they saw the enormous bulk of 
the pyramids rising a few miles distant from the town, and 
learned that these were some of the tombs of the kings. 

The country had now altered in character. On the left 
a range of steep hills approached the river, and as the march 
proceeded similar though not so lofty hills were seen on the 

At last after another fortnight's travelling a shout of joy 
from the army proclaimed that Thebes, the capital of Egypt, 
the goal of the long and weary march, was in view. 

Thebes stood on both sides of the Nile. On the eastern 
bank the largest portion of the population was gathered, 
but this part of the city was inhabited principally by the 


poorer class. There was, too, a large population on the 
Libyan side of the Nile, the houses being densely packed 
near the bank of the river. Behind these were numbers of 
temples and palaces, while the tombs of the kings and queens 
were excavated in a valley farther back, whose precipitous 
sides were honeycombed with the rock sepulchres of the 
wealthy. As the dwelling-houses were all low, the vast 
piles of the temples, palaces, and public buildings rose 
above them, and presented a most striking appearance to 
those approaching the city, which lay in a great natural 
amphitheatre, the hills on both sides narrowing towards 
the river both above and below it. The march of the royal 
army from Memphis had been on the western bank of the 
river, and it was the great Libyan suburb with its palaces 
and temples that they were approaching. As they neared 
the city an enormous multitude poured out to welcome the 
king and the returning army. Shouts of enthusiasm were 
raised, the sound of trumpets and other musical instruments 
filled the air, religious processions from the great temples 
moved with steady course through the dense crowd, which 
separated at once to allow of the passage of the figures of the 
gods, and of the priests and attendants bearing their emblems. 

"Indeed, Jethro," Amuba exclaimed with enthusiasm, "it 
is almost worth while being made a slave if it is only to 
witness this glorious scene. What a wonderful people are 
these; what knowledge, and power, and magnificence. Why, 
my father's palace would be regarded as a mere hut in Thebes, 
and our temples, of which we thought so much, are pigmies 
by the side of these immense edifices." 

"All that is true enough, Amuba, and I do not say that 
I, too, am not filled with admiration, and yet you know the 
Rebu several times drove back their forces, and man for 
man are more than a match for their soldiers. Our people 
are taller than they by half a head. We have not so much 
luxury, nor did we want it. All this must make people 


"Perhaps so," Amuba assented; "but you must remem 
ber it is not so very long ago that we were a people living 
in tents, and wandering at will in search of pasture, and we 
have not, I think, become effeminate because we have settled 
down and built towns. No one can say that the Egyptians 
are not brave, certainly it is not for us to say so, though I 
agree with you that physically they are not our equals. See 
how the people stare and point at us, Jethro. I should think 
they have never seen a race like ours with blue eyes and 
fair hair. Though even among them there are varying 
shades of darkness. The nobles and upper classes are much 
lighter in hue than the common people. 

The surprise of the Egyptians was indeed great at the 
complexion of their captives, and the decoration of their 
walls have handed down in paintings which still remain, 
the blue eyes and fair hair of the Rebu. The rejoicings 
upon the return of the king went on for several days, at 
the end of that time the captives were distributed by the 
royal order. Some were given to the generals who had 
most distinguished themselves. Many were assigned to the 
priests, while the great bulk were sent to labour upon the 
public works. 

The Rebu captives, whose singular complexion and fair 
ness caused them to be regarded with special interest, were 
distributed among the special favourites of the king. Many 
of the girls were assigned to the queen and royal princesses, 
others to the wives of the priests and generals who formed 
the council of the king. The men were, for the most part, 
given to the priests for service about the temples. 

To his great delight Amuba found that Jethro and himself 
were among the eight captives who were assigned to the ser 
vice of the priests of one of the great temples. This was 
scarcely the effect of chance, for the captives were drawn 
up in line, and the number assigned to each temple were 
marched off together in order that there might be no pick 
ing and choosing of the captives, but that they might be 


divided impartially between the various temples, and as 
Jethro always placed himself by Amuba's side, it naturally 
happened that they fell to the same destinatioa 

On reaching the temple the little band of captives were 
again drawn up, and the high-priest, Ameres, a grave and 
distinguished-looking man, walked along the line scrutiniz 
ing them. He beckoned to Amuba to step forward. "Hence 
forth," he said, "you are my servant. Behave well, and 
you will be well treated." He again walked down the line, 
and Amuba saw that he was going to choose another, and 
threw himself on his knees before him. 

" Will my lord pardon my boldness," he said, " but may 
I implore you to choose yonder man who stood next beside 
me. He has been my friend from childhood, he covered me 
with his shield in battle, he has been a father to me since I 
have lost my own. Do not, I implore you, my lord, separate 
us now. You will find us both willing to labour at what 
soever you may give us to do." 

The priest listened gravely. 

"It shall be as you wish," he said, "it is the duty of 
every man to give pleasure to those around him if it lies 
in his power, and as your friend is a man of thews and 
sinews, and has a frank and honest face, he will assuredly 
suit me as well as another; do you therefore both follow 
me to my house." 

The other captives saluted Amuba as he and Jethro turned 
to follow. The priest observed the action, and said to the 

" Were you a person of consequence among your people 
that they thus at parting salute you rather than your com 
rade who is older than you?" 

" I am the son of him who was their king," Amuba said. 
"He fell in action with your troops, and had not our city 
been taken, and the nation subdued by the Egyptians, I 
should .have inherited the throne." 

"Is it so?" the priest said. "Truly the changes and 


fortunes of life are strange. I wonder that, being the son 
of their king, you were not specially kept by Thotmes 

"I think that he knew it not," Amuba said. "We knew 
not your customs, and my fellow-captives thought that 
possibly I might be put to death were it known that I was 
a son of their king, and therefore abstained from all out 
ward marks of respect, which, indeed, would to one, who was 
a slave like themselves, have been ridiculous." 

"Perhaps it is best so," the priest said thoughtfully. "You 
would not have been injured, for we do not slay our cap 
tives taken in war, still maybe your life will be easier to 
bear as the servant of a priest than in the household of the 
king. You had better, however, mention to no one the rank 
you have borne, for it might be reported to the king, and 
then you might be sent for to the palace; unless indeed 
you would rather be a spectator of the pomp and gaiety of 
the court than a servant in a quiet household." 

" I would far rather remain with you, my lord," Amuba 
said eagerly. "You have already shown the kindness of your 
heart by granting my request, and choosing my comrade 
Jethro as my fellow-slave, and I feel already that my lot 
will be a far happier one than I had ventured to hope." 

"Judge not hastily by appearances," the priest said. "At 
the same time, here in Egypt, slaves are not treated as they 
are among the wild peoples of Nubia and the desert. There 
is a law for all, and he who kills a slave is punished as if he 
took the life of an Egyptian. However I think I can say that 
your life will not be a hard one; you have intelligence, as 
is shown by the fact that you have so rapidly acquired suffi 
cient knowledge of our tongue to speak it intelligibly. Can 
you, too, speak our language 1 ?" he asked Jethro. 

"I can speak a little," Jethro said; "but not nearly so 
well as Amuba. My lips are too old to fashion a strange 
tongue as rapidly as can his younger ones." 

"You speak sufficiently well to understand," the priest 


said, " and doubtless will in time acquire our tongue per 
fectly. This is my house." 

The priest entered an imposing gateway, on each side of 
which stretched a long and lofty wall. At a distance of 
fifty yards from the gate stood a large dwelling, compared 
to which the royal abode which Amuba had been brought 
up in was but a miserable hut. Inclosed within the walls 
was a space of ground some three hundred yards square, 
which was laid out as a garden. Avenues of fruit trees 
ran all round it, a portion was laid out as a vineyard; while, 
separated from the rest by an avenue of palm-trees, was a 
vegetable garden. 

In front of the house was a large piece of water, in which 
floated a gaily painted boat; aquatic plants of all kinds bor 
dered its edges. Graceful palms grouped their foliage over 
it, the broad flat leaves of lilies floated on its surface, while 
the white flowers which Amuba had seen carried in all the 
religious processions, and by large numbers of people of the 
upper rank, and which he heard were called the lotus, rose 
above them. The two captives were struck with surprise 
and admiration at the beauty of the scene, and forgot for a 
moment that they were slaves, as they looked round at a 
vegetation more beautiful than they had ever beheld. A 
smile passed over the countenance of the priest. 

"Perfect happiness is for no man," he said, "and yet me- 
thinks that you may in time learn at least contentment here." 



TUST as the priest finished speaking, a lad of about the 
*J same age as Amuba appeared at the portico of the 
house, and ran down to his father. 


"Oh, father!" he exclaimed, "have you brought two of 
these strange captives home. We saw them in the procession, 
and marvelled greatly at the colour of their hair and eyes. 
Mysa and I particularly noticed this lad, whose hair is almost 
the colour of gold." 

"As usual, Chebron, your tongue outruns your discretion. 
This youth understands enough Egyptian to know what 
you are saying, and it is not courteous to speak of a person's 
characteristics to his face." 

The lad flushed through his olive cheeks. 

"Pardon me," he said courteously to Amuba. "I did not 
think for a moment that one who had but newly arrived 
among us understood our language." 

"Do not apologise," Amuba replied with a smile. "Doubt 
less our appearance is strange to you, and indeed even among 
the peoples of Lydia and Persia, there are few whose hair 
and eyes are as fair as ours. Even had you said that you 
did not like our appearance I should not have felt hurt, for 
all people I think like that to which they are accustomed; 
in any case it is good of you to say that you regret what you 
said; people do not generally think that captives have feel 

"Chebron's apology was right," his father said. "Among 
us politeness is the rule, and every Egyptian is taught to be 
considerate to all people. It is just as easy to be polite as 
to be rude, and men are served better for love than for fear." 

"And are they to stay here, father?" Chebron asked, "or 
have you only brought them for to-day?" 

" They are to stay here, my son. I have chosen them 
from those set aside for our temple. I selected the younger 
because he was about your age, and it is good for a man to 
have one near him who has been brought up with him, and 
is attached to him; who, although circumstances may not 
have made them equal in condition, can yet be a comrade 
and a friend, and such, I hope, you will find in Amuba, for 
such he tells me is his name. I have said whom circum- 


stances have placed in an inferior position, for after all cir 
cumstances are everything. This youth, in his own country, 
held a position even higher than you do here, for he was 
the son of the king; and, since his father fell in battle, would 
now be the king of his people had they not been subjected 
to us. Therefore, Chebron, bear it always in mind that, 
although misfortune has placed him a captive among us, he 
is in birth your superior, and treat him as you yourself would 
wish to be treated did you fall a captive into the hands of a 
hostile nation." 

" I will gladly treat you as my friend," the young 
Egyptian said frankly to Amuba. "Although you are so 
different from me in race, I can see in your face that you 
are true and loyal. Besides," he added, "I am sure that 
my father would not have bade me so trust you had he not 
read your character and been certain that you will be a fit 
friend for me." 

" You and your father are both good," Amuba replied. 
*I know how hard is the lot of captives taken in war, for 
we, Kebu, had many slaves whom we took in various ex 
peditions, and I was prepared to suffer. You can judge, 
then, how grateful I feel to our gods that they have placed 
me in hands so different from those I had looked for, 
and I swear to you, Chebron, that you shall find me faithful 
and devoted to you. So, too, will you find my friend here, 
who in any difficulty would be far more able to render you 
service than I could. He was one of our bravest warriors. 
He drove my chariot in the great battle we fought with 
your people, and saved my life several times; and should 
you need the service of a strong and brave man, Jethro will 
be able to aid you." 

"And have you been in battle?" Chebron asked in 

" That was the first time I had ever fought with men," 
Amuba said; "but I had often hunted the lion, and he is 
almost as terrible an enemy as your soldiers. I was young 


to go to battle, but my father naturally wished me to take 
my place early among the fighting men of our nation." 

"By the way, Chebron," Ameres said, "I would warn you, 
mention to no one the rank that Amuba held in his own 
country. Were it known he might be taken away from us 
to serve in the palace. His people who were taken captives 
with him said nothing as to his rank, fearing that ill might 
befall him were it known, and it was therefore supposed 
that he was of the same rank as the other captives, who 
were all men of noble birth among the Rebu. Therefore 
tell no one, not even your mother or your sister Mysa. If 
there is a secret to be kept, the fewer who know it the better." 

While this conversation had been going on Amuba had 
been narrowly examining the lad who had promised to 
treat him as a friend. 

Like his father he was fairer in complexion than the 
majority of the Egyptians, the lighter hue being, indeed, 
almost universal among the upper class. He was much 
shorter and slighter than the young Rebu, but he carried him 
self well, and had already in his manner something of the 
calm and dignity that distinguished Egyptians born to high 
rank. He was disfigured, as Amuba thought, by the custom, 
general throughout Egypt, of having his head smoothly 
shaven, except one lock which fell down over the left ear. 
This, as Amuba afterwards learned, was the distinguishing 
sign of youth, and would be shaved off when he attained 
man's estate, married, or entered upon a profession. 

At present his head was bare, but when he went out he 
wore a close-fitting cap with an orifice through which the 
lock of hair passed out and fell down to his shoulder. He had 
not yet taken to the custom general among the upper and 
middle classes of wearing a wig. This general shaving of 
the head had, to Amuba, a most unpleasant effect until he 
became accustomed to it. It was adopted, doubtless, by the 
Egyptians for the purpose of coolness and cleanliness; but 
Amuba thought that he would rather spend any amount of 


pains in keeping his hair free from dust than go about in 
the fantastic and complicated wigs that the Egyptians wore. 

The priest now led them within the house. On passing 
through the entrance they entered a large hall Along its side 
ran a row of massive columns supporting the ceiling, which 
projected twelve feet from each wall; the walls were covered 
with marble and other coloured stones; the floor was 
paved with the same material; a fountain played in the 
middle, and threw its water to a considerable height, for the 
portion of the hall between the columns was open to the 
sky; seats of a great variety of shapes stood about the 
room; while in great pots were placed palms and other plants 
of graceful foliage. The ceiling was painted with an elaborate 
pattern in colours. A lady was seated upon a long couch. 
It had no back, but one end was raised as a support for the 
arm, and the ends were carved into the semblance of the 
heads of animals. 

Two Nubian slave girls stood behind her fanning her, 
and a girl about twelve years old was seated on a low stool 
studying from a roll of papyrus. She threw it down and 
jumped to her feet as her father entered, and the lady rose 
with a languid air, as if the effort of even so slight a move 
ment was a trouble to her. 

"Oh, papa! " the girl began, but the priest checked her 
with a motion of his hand. 

"My dear," he said to his wife, "I have brought home 
two of the captives whom our great king has brought with 
him as trophies of his conquest. He has handed many over 
for our service and that of the temples, and these two have 
fallen to my share. They were of noble rank in their own 
country, and we will do our best to make them forget the 
sad change in their position." 

"You are always so peculiar in your notions, Ameres," 
the lady said more pettishly than would have been expected 
from her languid movements. "They are captives; and I do 
not see that it makes any matter what they were before they 

MYSA. 63 

were captives, so that they are captives now. By all means 
treat them as you like, so that you do not place them about 
me, for their strange coloured hair and eyes and their white 
faces make me shudder." 

"Oh, mamma, I think it so pretty," Mysa exclaimed. "I do 
wish my hair was gold- coloured like that boy's, instead of 
being black like every one else's." 

The priest shook his head at his daughter reprovingly; 
but she seemed in no way abashed, for she was her father's 
pet, and knew well enough that he was never seriously 
angry with her. 

"I do not propose placing them near you, Amense," he 
said calmly in reply to his wife. "Indeed it seems to me that 
you have already more attendants about you than you can 
find any sort of employment for. The lad I have specially 
allotted to Chebron, as to the other I have not exactly settled 
as to what his duties will be." 

" Won't you give him to me, papa," Mysa said coaxingly. 
"Fatina is not at all amusing, and Dolma, the Nubian girl, 
can only look good-natured and show her white teeth, but 
as we can't understand each other at all I don't see that she 
is of any use to me." 

"And what use do you think you could make of this tall 
Rebu?" the priest asked smiling. 

" I don't quite know, papa," Mysa said, as with her head a 
little on one side she examined Jethro critically, "but I like 
his looks, and I am sure he could do all sorts of things; for 
instance he could walk with me when I want to go out, he 
could tow me round the lake in the boat, he could pick up 
my ball for me, and could feed my pets." 

"When you are too lazy to feed them yourself," the 
priest put in. "Very well, Mysa, we will try the experiment. 
Jethro shall be your special attendant, and when you have 
nothing for him to do, which will be the best part of the day, 
he can look after the water-fowl. Zunbo never attends them 
properly. Do you understand that?" he asked Jethro. 


Jethro replied by stepping forward, taking the girls hand, 
and bending over it until his forehead touched it. 

" There is an answer for you, Mysa." 

" You indulge the children too much, Ameres," his wife 
said irritably. " I do not think in all Egypt there are any 
children so spoilt as ours. Other men's sons never speak 
unless addressed, and do not think of sitting down in the 
presence of their father. I am astonished indeed that you, 
who are looked up to as one of the wisest men in Egypt, 
should suffer your children to be so familiar with you." 

"Perhaps, my dear," Ameres said with a placid smile, 
"it is because I am one of the wisest men in Egypt. My 
children honour me in their hearts as much as do those who 
are kept in slave-like subjection. How is a boy's mind 
to expand if he does not ask questions, and who should be 
so well able to answer his questions as his father? There, 
children, you can go now, take your new companions with 
you and show them the garden and your pets." 

"We are fortunate, indeed, Jethro," Amuba said as they 
followed Chebron and Mysa into the garden. "When we 
pictured to ourselves as we lay on the sand at night during 
our journey hither what our life would be, we never dreamt 
of anything like this ; we thought of tilling the land, of aid 
ing to raise the great dams and embankments, of quarrying 
stone for the public buildings, of a grinding and hopeless 
slavery, and the only thing that ever we ventured to hope 
for was that we might toil side by side, and now, see how 
good the gods have been to us. Not only are we together, 
but we have found friends in our masters, a home in this 
strange land." 

" Truly it is wonderful, Amuba. This Priest Ameres, is 
a most excellent person ; one to be loved by all who come 
near him. We have indeed been most fortunate in having 
been chosen by him." 

The brother and sister led the way through an avenue of 
fruit trees, at the end of which a gate led through a high 


paling of rushes into an inclosure some fifty feet square. 
It was surrounded by trees and shrubs, and in their shade 
stood a number of wooden structures. In the centre was 
a pool occupying the third of the area, and like the large 
pond before the house bordered with aquatic plants. At 
the edge stood two ibises, while many brilliantly plumaged 
water-fowl were swimming on its surface, or cleaning their 
feathers on the bank. 

As soon as the gate closed there was a great commotion 
among the water-fowl; the ibises advanced gravely to meet 
their young mistress, the ducks set up a chorus of welcome, 
those on the water made for the shore, while those on land 
followed the ibises with loud quackings. But the first to reach 
them were two gazelles, which bounded from one of the 
wooden huts and were in an instant beside them, thrusting 
their soft muzzles into the hands of Chebron and Mysa, 
while from the other structures arose a medley of sounds 
the barking of dogs and the sounds of welcome from a 
variety of creatures. 

" This is not your feeding time, you know," Chebron said, 
looking at the gazelles, "and for once we have come empty- 
handed; but we will give you something from your stores. 
See, Jethro, this is their larder," and he led the way into a 
structure somewhat larger than the rest; along the walls 
were a number of boxes of various sizes, while some large 
bins stood below them. "Here, you see," he went on, open 
ing one of the bins and taking from it a handful of freshly- 
cut vetches, and going to the door and throwing it down 
before the gazelles, "this is their special food; it is brought 
in fresh every morning from our farm, which lies six miles 
away. The next bin contains the seed for the water-fowl. 
It is all mixed here you see. Wheat and peas and pulse 
and other seeds. Mysa, do give them a few handfuls, for I 
can hardly hear myself speak from their clamour. 

"In this box above you see there is a pan of sopped bread 
for the cats. There is a little mixed with the water; but 

(481) E 


only a little, for it will not keep good. Those cakes are 
for them too. Those large, plain, hard-baked cakes in the 
next box are for the dogs ; they have some meat and bones 
given them two or three times a week. These frogs and 
toads in this cage are for the little crocodile; he has a tank 
all to himself. All these other boxes are full of different 
food for the other animals you see. There's a picture of 
the right animal upon each, so there is no fear of making a 
mistake. We generally feed them ourselves three times a 
day when we are here, but when we are away it will be for 
you to feed them." 

"And please," Mysa said, "above all things be very par 
ticular that they have all got fresh water; they do love 
fresh water so much, and sometimes it is so hot that the 
pans dry up in an hour after it has been poured out. You 
see the gazelles can go to the pond and drink when they are 
thirsty, but the others are fastened up because they won't 
live peaceably together as they ought to do; but we let 
them out for a bit while we are here. The dogs chase the 
water-fowl and frighten them, and the cats will eat up the 
little ducklings, which is very wrong when they have plenty 
of proper food; and the ichneumon, even when we are here, 
would quarrel with the snakes if we let him into their house. 
They are very troublesome that way, though they are all so 
good with us. The houses all want making nice and clean 
of a morning." 

The party went from house to house inspecting the various 
animals, all of which were most carefully attended. The 
dogs, which were, Chebron said, of a Nubian breed, were 
used for hunting; while on comfortable beds of fresh rushes 
three great cats lay blinking on large cushions, but got up 
and rubbed against Mysa and Chebron in token of welcome. 
A number of kittens who were playing about together rushed 
up with upraised tails and loud mewings. Amuba noticed 
that their two guides made a motion of respect as they 
entered the house where the cats were as well as towards 


the dogs, the ichneumon, and the crocodile, all of which were 
sacred animals in Thebes. 

Many instructions were given by Mysa to Jethro as to 
the peculiar treatment that each of her pets demanded, and 
having completed their rounds the party then explored the 
garden, and Amuba and Jethro were greatly struck by the 
immense variety of plants, which had indeed been raised 
from seeds or roots brought from all the various countries 
where the Egyptian arms extended. 

For a year the time passed tranquilly and pleasantly to 
Amuba in the household of the priest. His duties and those 
of Jethro were light. In his walks and excursions Amuba 
was Chebron's companion. He learned to row his boat when 
he went out fishing on the Nile. When thus out together 
the distinction of rank was altogether laid aside; but when 
in Thebes the line was necessarily more marked, as Cheb- 
ron could not take Amuba with him to the houses of the 
many friends and relatives of his father among the priestly 
and military classes. When the priest and his family went 
out to a banquet or entertainment Jethro and Amuba were 
always with the party of servants who went with torches 
to escort them home. The service was a light one in their 
case; but not so in many others, for the Egyptians often 
drank deeply at these feasts, and many of the slaves always 
took with them light couches upon which to carry their 
masters home. Even among the ladies, who generally took 
their meals apart from the men upon these occasions, drun 
kenness was by no means uncommon. 

When in the house Amuba was often present when 
Chebron studied, and as he himself was most anxious to 
acquire as much as he could of the wisdom of the Egyp 
tians, Chebron taught him the hieroglyphic characters, 
and he was ere long able to read the inscriptions upon the 
temple and public buildings and to study from the papyrus 
scrolls, of which vast numbers were stowed away in pigeon 
holes ranged round one of the largest rooms in the house. 


When Chebron's studies were over Jethro instructed him 
in the use of arms, and also practised with Amuba. A teacher 
of the use of the bow came frequently for Egyptians of all 
ranks were skilled in the use of the national weapon and 
the Rebu captives, already skilled in the bow as used by 
their own people, learned from watching his teaching of 
Chebron to use the longer and much more powerful weapon 
of the Egyptians. Whenever Mysa went outside the house 
Jethro accompanied her; waiting outside the house she 
visited until she came out, or going back to fetch her if 
her stay was a prolonged one. 

Greatly they enjoyed the occasional visits made by the 
family to their farm. Here they saw the cultivation of the 
fields carried on, watched the plucking of the grapes and 
their conversion into wine. To extract the juice the grapes 
were heaped in a large flat vat above which ropes were sus 
pended. A dozen bare-footed slaves entered the vat and trod 
out the grapes, using the ropes to lift themselves in order 
that they might drop with greater force upon the fruit. 
Amuba had learned from Chebron that, although he was 
going to enter the priesthood as an almost necessary prelimin 
ary for state employment, he was not intended to rise to the 
upper rank of the priesthood, but to become a state official. 

" My elder brother will, no doubt, some day succeed my 
father as high-priest of Osiris," he told Amuba. " I know 
that my father does not think that he is clever, but it is 
not necessary to be very clever to serve in the temple. I 
thought that, of course, I too should come to high rank in 
the priesthood; for, as you know, almost all posts are here 
ditary, and though my brother as the elder would be 
high-priest, I should be one of the chief-priests also. But 
I have not much taste that way, and rejoiced much when 
one day saying so to my father, he replied at once that he 
should not urge me to devote my life to the priesthood, for 
that there were many other offices of state which would be 
open to me, and in which I could serve my countiy and be 


useful to the people. Almost all the posts in the service 
of the state are, indeed, held by the members of priestly 
families; they furnish governors to the provinces, and not 
unfrequently generals to the army. 

" ' Some,' he said, ' are by disposition fitted to spend their 
lives in ministering in the temples, and it is doubtless a 
high honour and happiness to do so; but for others a more 
active life and a wider field of usefulness is more suitable. 
Engineers are wanted for the canal and irrigation works, 
judges are required to make the law respected and obeyed, 
diplomatists to deal with foreign nations, governors for the 
many peoples over whom we rule: therefore, my son, if you 
do not feel a longing to spend your life in the service of the 
temple, by all means turn your mind to study which will fit 
you to be an officer of the state. Be assured that I can 
obtain for you from the king a post in which you will be 
able to make your first essay, and so, if deserving, rise to 
high advancement.' " 

There were few priests during the reign of Thotmes III. 
who stood higher in the opinion of the Egyptian people 
than Ameres. His piety and learning rendered him distin 
guished among his fellows. He was high -priest in the 
temple of Osiris, and was one of the most trusted of the 
councillors of the king. He had by heart all the laws of the 
sacred books; he was an adept in the inmost mysteries of 
the religion. His wealth was large, and he used it nobly; 
he lived in a certain pomp and state which were necessary 
for his position, but he spent but a tithe of .his revenues, 
and the rest he distributed among the needy. 

If the Nile rose to a higher level than usual and spread 
ruin and destruction among the cultivators, Ameres was 
ready to assist the distressed. If the rise of the river 
was deficient, he always set the example of remitting the 
rents of the tenants of his broad lands, and was ready to 
lend money without interest to tenants of harder or more 
necessitous landlords. 


Yet among the high priesthood Ameres was regarded 
with suspicion, and even dislike. It was whispered among 
them that, learned and pious as he was, the opinions of the 
high-priest were not in accordance with the general senti 
ments of the priesthood; that, although he performed 
punctiliously all the numerous duties of his office, and 
took his part in the sacrifices and processions of the god, 
he yet lacked reverence for him, and entertained notions 
widely at variance with those of his fellows. 

Ameres was, in fact, one of those men who refuse to be 
bound by the thoughts and opinions of others, and to whom 
it is a necessity to bring their own judgment to bear on every 
question presented to them. His father, who had been high- 
priest before him for the great offices of Egypt were for 
the most part hereditary while he had been delighted at 
the thirst for knowledge and the enthusiasm for study in his 
son, had been frequently shocked at the freedom with which 
he expressed his opinions, as step by step he was initiated 
into the sacred mysteries. 

Already at his introduction to the priesthood, Ameres had 
mastered all there was to learn in geometry and astronomy. 
He was a skilful architect, and was deeply versed in the 
history of the nation. He had already been employed as 
supervisor in the construction of canals and irrigation works 
on the property belonging to the temple, and in all these 
respects his father had every reason to be proud of the suc 
cess he had attained and the estimation in which he was held 
by his fellows. It was only the latitude which he allowed 
himself in his consideration of religious questions which 
alarmed and distressed his father. 

The Egyptians were the most conservative of peoples. 
For thousands of years no change whatever took place in 
their constitution, their manners, customs, and habits. It 
was the fixed belief of every Egyptian that in all respects 
their country was superior to any other, and that their laws 
and customs had approached perfection. All from the 


highest to the lowest were equally bound by these. The 
king himself was no more independent than the peasant; 
his hour of rising, the manner in which the day should be 
employed, the very quantity and quality of food he should 
eat, were all rigidly dictated by custom. He was surrounded 
from his youth by young men of his own age sons of priests, 
chosen for their virtue and piety. 

Thus he was freed from the influence of evil advisers, 
and even had he so wished it, had neither means nor power 
of oppressing his subjects, whose rights and privileges were 
as strictly denned as his own. In a country, then, where 
every man followed the profession of his father, and where 
from time immemorial everything had proceeded on pre 
cisely the same lines, the fact that Ameres, the son of the 
high-priest of Osiris, and himself destined to succeed to that 
dignity, should entertain opinions differing even in the 
slightest from those held by the leaders of the priesthood, 
was sufficient to cause him to be regarded with marked dis 
favour among them ; it was indeed only because his piety and 
benevolence were as remarkable as his learning and know 
ledge of science that he was enabled at his father's death 
to succeed to his office without opposition. 

Indeed, even at that time the priests of higher grade 
would have opposed his election; but Ameres was as popu 
lar with the lower classes of the priesthood as with the 
people at large, and their suffrages would have swamped 
those of his opponents. The multitude had, indeed, never 
heard so much as a whisper against the orthodoxy of the 
high-priest of Osiris. They saw him ever foremost in the 
sacrifices and processions; they knew that he was indefatig 
able in his services in the temple, and that all his spare time 
was devoted to works of benevolence and general utility; and 
as they bent devoutly as he passed through the streets they 
little dreamt that the high-priest of Osiris was regarded by 
his chief brethren as a dangerous innovator. 

And yet it was on one subject only that he differed widely 


from his order. Versed as he was in the innermost mys 
teries, he had learned the true meaning of the religion of 
which he was one of the chief ministers. He was aware that 
Osiris and Isis, the six other great gods, and the innumer 
able divinities whom the Egyptians worshipped under the 
guise of deities with the heads of animals, were in themselves 
no gods at all, but mere attributes of the power, the wisdom, 
the goodness, the anger of the one great God a God so 
mighty that his name was unknown, and that it was only 
when each of his attributes was given an individuality and 
worshipped as a god that it could be understood by the 
finite sense of man. 

All this was known to Ameres and the few who, like 
him, had been admitted to the inmost mysteries of the 
Egyptian religion. The rest of the population in Egypt 
worshipped in truth and in faith the animal-headed gods 
and the animals sacred to them; and yet as to these ani 
mals there was no consensus of opinion. In one nome or 
division of the kingdom the crocodile was sacred; in 
another he was regarded with dislike, and the ichneumon, 
who was supposed to be his destroyer, was deified. In one 
the goat was worshipped, and in another eaten for food; 
and so it was throughout the whole of the list of sacred 
animals, which were regarded with reverence or indiffer 
ence according to the gods who were looked upon as the 
special tutelary deities of the nome. 

It was the opinion of Ameres that the knowledge, con 
fined only to the initiated, should be more widely dissemi 
nated, and, without wishing to extend it at present to the 
ignorant masses of the peasantry and labourers, he thought 
that all the educated and intelligent classes of Egypt should 
be admitted to an understanding of the real nature of the 
gods they worshipped and the inner truths of their religion. 
He was willing to admit that the process must be gradual, 
and that it would be necessary to enlarge gradually the 
circle of the initiated. His proposals were nevertheless 


received with dismay and horror by his colleagues. They 
asserted that to allow others besides the higher priesthood 
to become aware of the deep mysteries of their religion 
would be attended with terrible consequences. 

In the first place, it would shake entirely the respect 
and reverence in which the priesthood were held, and would 
annihilate their influence. The temples would be deserted, 
and, losing the faith which they now so steadfastly held in 
the gods, people would soon cease to have any religion at 
all. "There are no people," they urged, "on the face of the 
earth so moral, so contented, so happy, and so easily ruled 
as the Egyptians; but what would they be did you destroy 
all their beliefs, and launch them upon a sea of doubt and 
speculation! No longer would they look up to those who 
have so long been their guides and teachers, and whom 
they regard as possessing a knowledge and wisdom infinitely 
beyond theirs. They would accuse us of having deceived 
them, and in their blind fury destroy alike the gods and 
their ministers. The idea of such a thing is horrible." 

Ameres was silenced though not convinced. He felt, in 
deed, that there was much truth in the view they entertained 
of the matter, and that terrible consequences would almost 
certainly follow the discovery by the people that for thou 
sands of years they had been led by the priests to worship 
as gods those who were no gods at all, and he saw that the 
evil which would arise from a general enlightenment of the 
people would outweigh any benefit that they could derive 
from the discovery. The system had, as his colleagues said, 
worked well ; and the fact that the people worshipped as 
actual deities imaginary beings who were really but the re 
presentatives of the attributes of the infinite God, could not 
be said to have done them any actual harm. At any rate, he 
alone and unaided could do nothing. Only with the general 
consent of the higher priesthood could the circle of initiated 
be widened, and any movement on his part alone would 
simply bring upon himself disgrace and death. Therefore, 


after unburdening himself in a council composed only of 
the higher initiates, he held his peace and went on the 
quiet tenor of his way. 

Enlightened as he was he felt that he did no wrong to 
preside at the sacrifices and take part in the services of the 
gods. He was worshipping not the animal-headed idols, 
but the attributes which they personified. He felt pity for 
the ignorant multitude who laid their offerings upon the 
shrine ; and yet he felt that it would shatter their happiness 
instead of adding to it were they to know that the deity 
they worshipped was a myth. He allowed his wife and 
daughter to join with the priestesses in the service at the 
temple, and in his heart acknowledged that there was much 
in the contention of those who argued that the spread of 
the knowledge of the inner mysteries would not conduce 
to the happiness of all who received it. Indeed he him 
self would have shrunk from disturbing the minds of his 
wife and daughter by informing them that all their pious 
ministrations in the temple were offered to non-existent 
gods; that the sacred animals they tended were in no way 
more sacred than others, save that in them were recognized 
some shadow of the attributes of the unknown God. 

His eldest son was, he saw, not of a disposition to be 
troubled with the problems which gave him so much subject 
for thought and care. He would conduct the services con 
sciously and well. He would bear a respectable part when, 
on his accession to the high-priesthood, he became one of 
the councillors of the monarch. He had common sense, but 
no imagination. The knowledge of the inmost mysteries 
would not disturb his mind in the slightest degree, and it 
was improbable that even a thought would ever cross his 
mind that the terrible deception practised by the enlightened 
upon the whole people was anything but right and proper. 

Ameres saw, however, that Chebron was altogether differ 
ently constituted. He was very intelligent, and was pos 
sessed of an ardent thirst for a knowledge of all kinds; but 


he had also his father's habit of looking at matters from all 
points of view and of thinking for himself. The manner in 
which Ameres had himself superintended his studies and 
taught him to work with his understanding, and to con 
vince himself that each rule and precept was true before 
proceeding to the next, had developed his thinking powers. 
Altogether, Ameres saw that the doubts which filled his 
own mind as to the honesty, or even expediency, of keeping 
the whole people in darkness and error would probably be 
felt with even greater force by Chebron. 

He had determined, therefore, that the lad should not 
work up through all the grades of the priesthood to the 
upper rank, but should, after rising high enough to fit him 
self for official employment, turn his attention to one or 
other of the great departments of state. 



I AM going on a journey," Ameres said to his son, a few 
days after the return from the farm. "I shall take 
you with me, Chebron, for I am going to view the progress 
of a fresh canal that is being made on our estate in Goshen. 
The officer who is superintending it has doubts whether, 
when the sluices are opened, it will altogether fulfil its pur 
pose, and I fear that some mistake must have been made 
in the levels. I have already taught you the theory of the 
work, it is well that you should gain some practical ex 
perience in it; for there is no more useful or honourable 
profession than that of carrying out works by which the 
floods of the Nile are conveyed to the thirsty soil." 

"Thank you, father. I should like it greatly," Chebron 


replied in a tone of delight, for he had never before been far 
south of Thebes. "And may Amuba go with us?" 

"Yes; I was thinking of taking him," the high-priest said. 
"Jethro can also go, for I take a retinue with me. Did I 
consult my own pleasure I would far rather travel without 
this state and ceremony; but, as a functionary of state, I 
must conform to the customs. And, indeed, even in Goshen 
it is as well always to travel with some sort of state. The 
people there are of a different race to ourselves. Although 
they have dwelt a long time in the land and conform to its 
customs, still they are notoriously a stubborn and obstinate 
people, and there is more trouble in getting the public works 
executed there than in any other part of the country." 

"I have heard of them, father. They belong to the same 
race as the shepherd kings who were such bitter tyrants to 
Egypt. How is it that they stayed behind when the shep 
herds were driven out?" 

" They are of the same race, but they came not with them, 
and formed no part of their conquering armies. The shep 
herds, who, as you know, came from the land lying to the 
east of the Great Sea, had reigned here for a long time when 
this people came. They were relations of the Joseph who, 
as you have read in your history, was chief minister of 

"He came here as a slave, and was certainly brought from 
the country whence our oppressors came. But they say that 
he was not of their race, but that his forefathers had come 
into the land from a country lying far to the east; but that 
I know not Suffice it he gained the confidence of the king, 
became his minister, and ruled wisely as far as the king 
was concerned, though the people have little reason to 
bless his memory. In his days was a terrible famine, and 
they say he foretold its coming, and that his gods gave 
him warning of it So, vast granaries were constructed 
and filled to overflowing, and when the famine came and 
the people were starving the grain was served out, but in 


return the people had to give up their land. Thus the 
whole tenure of the land in the country was changed, and 
all became the property of the state, the people remaining 
as its tenants upon the land they formerly owned. Then it 
was that the state granted large tracts to the temples and 
others to the military order, so that at present all tillers 
of land pay rent either to the king, the temples, or the 
military order. 

"Thus it is that the army can always be kept up in ser 
viceable order, dwelling by its tens of thousands in the 
cities assigned to it. Thus it is that the royal treasury is 
always kept full, and the services of the temples maintained. 
The step has added to the power and dignity of the nation, 
and has benefited the cultivators themselves by enabling 
vast works of irrigation to be carried out works that could 
never have been accomplished had the land been the pro 
perty of innumerable small holders, each with his own 
petty interests." 

" But you said, father, that it has not been for the good 
of the people." 

" Nor has it in one respect, Chebron, for it has drawn a 
wide chasm between the aristocratic classes and the bulk of 
the people, who can never own land, and have no stimulus 
to exertion." 

"But they are wholly ignorant, father. They are peasants, 
and nothing more." 

" I think they might be something more, Chebron, under 
other circumstances. However, that is not the question we 
are discussing. This Joseph brought his family out of the 
land at the east of the Great Sea, and land was given to them 
in Goshen, and they settled there and throve and multiplied 
greatly. Partly because of the remembrance of the services 
Joseph had rendered to the state, partly because they were 
a kindred people, they were held in favour as long as the 
shepherd kings ruled over us. But when Egypt rose, and 
shook off the yoke they had groaned under so long, and 


drove the shepherds and their followers out of the land, 
this people for they had now so grown in numbers as to be 
in verity a people remained behind, and they have been 
naturally viewed with suspicion by us. They are akin to 
our late oppressors, and lying as their land does to the 
east, they could open the door to any fresh army of in 

"Happily, now that our conquests have spread so far, and 
the power of the people eastward of the Great Sea has been 
completely broken, this reason for distrust has died out, but 
Joseph's people are still viewed unfavourably. Prejudices 
take long to die out among the masses, and the manner in 
which these people cling together, marrying only among 
themselves and keeping themselves apart from us, gives a 
certain foundation for the dislike which exists. Personally, 
I think the feeling is unfounded. They are industrious and 
hard working, though they are, I own, somewhat disposed 
to resist authority, and there is more difficulty in obtaining 
the quota of men from Goshen for the execution of public 
works than from any other of the provinces of Egypt" 

"Do they differ from us in appearance, father?" 

"Considerably, Chebron. They are somewhat fairer than 
we are, their noses are more aquiline, and they are physi 
cally stronger. They do not shave their heads as we do, and 
they generally let the hair on their faces grow. For a long 
time after their settlement I believe that they worshipped 
their own gods, or rather their own God, but they have long 
adopted our religion." 

"Surely that must be wrong," Chebron said. " Each nation 
has its gods, and if a people forsake their own gods it is not 
likely that other gods would care for them as they do for 
their own people." 

"It is a difficult question, Chebron, and one which it is 
best for you to leave alone at present. You will soon enter 
into the lower grade of the priesthood, and, although if you 
do not pass into the upper grades you will never know the 


greater mysteries, you will yet learn enough to enlighten 
you to some extent." 

Chebron was too well trained in the respect due to a 
parent to ask further questions, but he renewed the subject 
with Amuba as they strolled in the garden together after 

" I wonder how each nation found out who were the gods 
who specially cared for them, Amuba?" 

" I have no idea," Amuba, who had never given the sub 
ject a thought, replied. "You are always asking puzzling 
questions, Chebron." 

"Well, but it must have been somehow," Chebron in 
sisted. "Do you suppose that anyone ever saw our gods? 
and if not, how do people know that one has the head of a 
dog and another of a cat, or what they are like ? Are some 
gods stronger than others, because all people offer sacrifices 
to the gods and ask for their help before going to battle? 
Some are beaten and some are victorious; some win to-day 
and lose to-morrow. Is it that these gods are stronger one 
day than another? or that they do not care to help their 
people sometimes ? Why do they not prevent their temples 
from being burned and their images from being thrown 
down? It is all very strange." 

"It is all very strange, Chebron. I was not long ago 
asking Jethro nearly the same question, but he could give 
me no answer. Why do you not ask your father he is 
one of the wisest of the Egyptians?" 

"I have asked my father, but he will not answer me," 
Chebron said thoughtfully. " I think sometimes that it is 
because I have asked these questions that he does not wish 
me to become a high-priest. I did not mean anything dis 
respectful to the gods. But somehow when I want to know 
things, and he will not answer me, I think he looks sadly, 
as if he was sorry at heart that he could not tell me what I 
want to know." 

"Have you ever asked your brother Neco?" 


"Oh, Neco is different," Chebron said with an accent 
almost of disdain. " Neco gets into passions and threatens 
me with all sorts of things; but I can see he knows no more 
about it than I do, for he has a bewildered look in his face 
when I ask him these things, and once or twice he has put 
his hands to his ears and fairly run away, as if I was saying 
something altogether profane and impious against the gods." 

On the following day the high-priest and his party started 
for Goshen. The first portion of the journey was performed 
by water. The craft was a large one, with a pavilion of 
carved wood on deck, and two masts, with great sails of 
many colours cunningly worked together. Persons of con 
sequence travelling in this way were generally accompanied 
by at least two or three musicians playing on harps, trum 
pets, or pipes; for the Egyptians were passionately fond of 
music, and no feast was thought complete without a band 
to discourse soft music while it was going on. The instru 
ments were of the most varied kinds; stringed instruments 
predominated, and these varied in size from tiny instruments 
resembling zithers to harps much larger than those used in 
modern times. In addition to these they had trumpets of 
many forms, reed instruments, cymbals, and drums, the last- 
named long and narrow in shape. 

Ameres, however, although not averse to music after the 
evening meal, was of too practical a character to care for it at 
other times. He considered that it was too often an excuse 
for doing nothing and thinking of nothing, and therefore 
dispensed with it except on state occasions. As they floated 
down the river he explained to his son the various objects 
which they passed; told him the manner in which the fisher 
men in their high boats made of wooden planks bound 
together by rushes, or in smaller crafts shaped like punts 
formed entirely of papyrus bound together with bands of the 
same plant, caught the fish ; pointed out the entrances to the 
various canals, and explained the working of the gates which 
admitted the water; gave him the history of the various 


temples, towns, and villages; named the many water-fowl 
basking on the surface of the river, and told him of their 
habits and how they were captured by the fowlers; he 
pointed out the great tombs to him, and told him by whom 
they were built. 

" The largest, my son, are monuments of pride and folly. 
The greatest of the pyramids was built by a king who 
thought it would immortalize him; but so terrible was the 
labour that its construction inflicted upon the people that it 
caused him to be execrated, and he was never laid in the 
mausoleum he had built for himself. You see our custom 
of judging kings after their death is not without advantages. 
After a king is dead the people are gathered together and 
the question is put to them, Has the dead monarch ruled 
well 1 ? If they reply with assenting shouts, he is buried in 
a fitting tomb which he has probably prepared for himself, or 
which his successor raises to him; but if the answer is that 
he has reigned ill, the sacred rites in his honour are omitted 
and the mausoleum he has raised stands empty for ever. 

" There are few, indeed, of our kings who have thus 
merited the execration of their people; for as a rule the 
careful manner in which they are brought up, surrounded 
by youths chosen for their piety and learning, and the fact 
that they, like the meanest of their subjects, are bound to 
respect the laws of the land, act as sufficient check upon 
them. But there is no doubt that the knowledge that after 
death they must be judged by the people exercises a whole 
some restraint even upon the most reckless." 

" I long to see the pyramids," Chebron said. "Are they 
built of brick or stone, for I have been told that their sur 
face is so smooth and shiny that they look as if cut from 
a single piece?" 

"They are built of vast blocks of stone, each of which 
employed the labour of many hundreds of men to transport 
from the quarries where they were cut." 

"Were they the work of slaves or of the people at large?" 

(481) F 


"Vast numbers of slaves captured in war laboured at 
them," the priest replied. "But numerous as these were 
they were wholly insufficient for the work, and well-nigh 
half the people of Egypt were forced to leave their homes 
to labour at them. So great was the burden and distress 
that even now the builders of these pyramids are never 
spoken of save with curses; and rightly so, for what might 
not have been done with the same labour usefully employed ! 
Why, the number of the canals in the country might be 
doubled and the fertility of the soil vastly increased. Vast 
tracts might have been reclaimed from the marshes and 
shallow lakes, and the produce of the land might have been 

"And what splendid temples might have been raised!" 
Chebron said enthusiastically. 

" Doubtless, my son," the priest said quietly after a slight 
pause. " But though it is meet and right that the temples 
of the gods shall be worthy of them, still, as we hold that 
the gods love Egypt and rejoice in the prosperity of the 
people, I think that they might have preferred so vast an 
improvement as the works I speak of would have effected 
in the condition of the people, even to the raising of long 
avenues of sphinxes and gorgeous temples in their own 

"Yes, one would think so," Chebron said thoughtfully. 
"And yet, father, we are always taught that our highest 
duty is to pay honour to the gods, and that in no way can 
money be so well spent as in raising fresh temples and add 
ing to the beauty of those that exist." 

"Our highest duty is assuredly to pay honour to the 
gods, Chebron ; but how that honour can be paid most 
acceptably is another and deeper question which you are a 
great deal too young to enter upon. It will be time enough 
for you to do that years hence. There, do you see that 
temple standing on the right bank of the river? that is 
where we stop for the night. My messenger will have 


prepared them for our coming, and all will be in readiness 
for us." 

As they approached the temple they saw a number of 
people gathered on the great stone steps reaching down to 
the water's-edge, and strains of music were heard. On 
landing Ameres was greeted with the greatest respect by 
the priests all bowing to the ground, while those of inferior 
order knelt with their faces to the earth, and did not raise 
them until he had passed on. As soon as he entered the 
temple a procession was formed. Priests bearing sacred 
vessels and the symbols of the gods walked before him to 
the altar; a band of unseen musicians struck up a pro 
cessional air; priestesses and maidens, also carrying offerings 
and emblems, followed Ameres. He naturally took the prin 
cipal part in the sacrifice at the altar, cutting the throat 
of the victim, and making the offering of the parts specially 
set aside for the gods. 

After the ceremonies were concluded the procession moved 
in order as far as the house of the chief priest. Here all 
again saluted Ameres, who entered, followed by his son and 
attendants. A banquet was already in readiness. To this 
Ameres sat down with the principal priests, while Chebron 
was conducted to the apartment prepared for him, where 
food from the high table was served to him. Amuba and 
the rest of the suite of the high -priest were served in 
another apartment. As soon as Chebron had finished he 
joined Amuba. 

"Let us slip away," he said. "The feasting will go on 
for hours, and then there will be music far on into the night. 
My father will be heartily tired of it all; for he loves plain 
food, and thinks that the priests should eat none other. 
Still, as it would not be polite for a guest to remark upon 
the viands set before him, I know that he will go through 
it all. I have heard him say that it is one of the greatest 
trials of his position that whenever he travels people seem 
to think that a feast must be prepared for him; whereas I 


know he would rather sit down to a dish of boiled lentils 
and water than have the richest dishes set before him." 

"Is it going to be like this all the journey?" Amuba 

"Oh, no! I know that all the way down the river we 
shall rest at a temple, for did my father not do so the 
priests would regard it as a slight ; but then we leave the 
boat and journey in chariots or bullock-carts. When we 
reach Goshen we shall live in a little house which my 
father has had constructed for him, and where we shall 
have no more fuss and ceremony than we do at our own 
farm. Then he will be occupied with the affairs of the 
estates and in the works of irrigation; and although we 
shall be with him when he journeys about, as I am to begin 
to learn the duties of a superintendent, I expect we shall 
have plenty of time for amusement and sport." 

They strolled for an hour or two on the bank of the 
river, for the moon was shining brightly and many boats 
were passing up and down; the latter drifted with the 
stream, for the wind was so light that the sails were scarce 
filled, the former kept close to the bank, and were either 
propelled by long poles or towed by parties of men on the 
bank. When they returned to the house they listened for a 
time to the music, and then retired to their rooms. Amuba 
lay down upon the soft couch made of a layer of bulrushes, 
covered with a thick woollen cloth, and rested his head on 
a pillow of bulrushes which Jethro had bound up for him; 
for neither of the Eebu had learned to adopt the Egyptian 
fashion of using a stool for a pillow. 

These stools were long, and somewhat curved in the 
middle to fit the neck. For the common people they were 
roughly made of wood, smoothed where the head came; 
but the head-stools of the wealthy were constructed of 
ebony, cedar and other scarce woods, beautifully inlaid 
with ivory. Amuba had made several trials of these head- 
stools, but had not once succeeded in going to sleep with 


one under his head, half an hour sufficing to cause such an 
aching of his neck that he was glad to take to the pillow of 
rushes to which he was accustomed. Indeed, to sleep upon 
the stool-pillows, it was necessary to lie upon the side with 
an arm so placed as to raise the head to the exact level of 
the stool, and as Amuba had been accustomed to throw 
himself down and sleep on his back or any other position 
in which he first lay, for he was generally thoroughly tired 
either in hunting or by exercise of arms, he found the 
cramped and fixed position necessary for sleeping with a 
hard stool absolutely intolerable. 

For a week the journey down the river continued, and 
then they arrived at Memphis, where they remained for 
some days. Ameres passed the time in ceremonial visits and 
in taking part in the sacrifices in the temple. Chebron and 
Amuba visited all the temples and public buildings, and one 
day went out to inspect the great pyramids attended by 

"This surpasses anything I have seen," Jethro said as 
they stood at the foot of the great pyramid of Cheops. 
"What a wonderful structure, but what a frightful waste of 
human labour!" 

"It is marvellous, indeed," Amuba said. "What wealth 
and power a monarch must have had to raise such a 
colossal pile ! I thought you said, Chebron, that your kings 
were bound by laws as well as other people. If so, how 
could this king have exacted such terrible toil and labour 
from his subjects as this must have cost 1 ?" 

"Kings should be bound by the laws," Chebron replied; 
"but there are some so powerful and haughty that they 
tyrannize over the people. Cheops was one of them. My 
father has been telling me that he ground down the people 
to build this wonderful tomb for himself. But he had 
his reward, for at his funeral he had to be judged by 
the public voice, and the public condemned him as a bad 
and tyrannous king. Therefore he was not allowed to 


be buried in the great tomb that he had built for him 
self. I know not where his remains rest, but this huge 
pyramid stands as an eternal monument of the failure 
of human ambition the greatest and costliest tomb in the 
world, but without an occupant, save that Theliene, one of 
his queens, was buried here in a chamber near that destined 
for the king." 

" The people did well," Jethro said heartily; " but they 
would have done better still had they risen against him and 
cut off his head directly they understood the labour he was 
setting them to do." 

On leaving Memphis one more day's journey was made 
by water, and the next morning the party started by land. 
Ameres rode in a chariot, which was similar in form to those 
used for war, except that the sides were much higher, form 
ing a sort of deep open box, against which those standing in 
it could rest their bodies. Amuba and Chebron travelled in 
a wagon drawn by two oxen, the rest of the party walked 
on foot. 

At the end of two days they arrived at their destination. 
The house was a small one compared to the great mansion 
near Thebes, but it was built on a similar plan. A high 
wall surrounded an inclosure of a quarter of an acre. In 
the centre stood the house with one large apartment for 
general purposes, and small bed-chambers opening from it 
on either side. The garden, although small, was kept with 
scrupulous care. Rows of fruit-trees afforded a pleasant 
shade. In front of the house there was a small pond bor 
dered with lilies and rushes. A Nubian slave and his wife 
kept everything in readiness for the owner whenever he 
should appear. A larger retinue of servants was unneces 
sary, as a cook and barber were among those who travelled 
in the train of Ameres. The overseer of the estate was in 
readiness to receive the high-priest. 

" I have brought my son with me," Ameres said when 
the ceremonial observances and salutations were concluded 


"He is going to commence his studies in irrigation, but I 
shall not have time at present to instruct him. I wish him 
to become proficient in out-door exercises, and beg you to 
procure men skilled in fishing, fowling, and hunting, so 
that he can amuse his unoccupied hours with sport. At 
Thebes he has but rare opportunities for these matters; for, 
excepting in the preserves, game has become well-nigh 
extinct, while as for fowling there is none of it to be 
had in Upper Egypt, while here in the marshes birds 

The superintendent promised that suitable men should be 
forthcoming, one of each caste; for in Egypt men always 
followed the occupation of their fathers, and each branch 
of trade was occupied by men forming distinct castes, who 
married only in their own caste, worked just as their fathers 
had done before them, and did not dream of change or ele 
vation. Thus the fowler knew nothing about catching fish, 
or the fishermen of fowling. Both, however, knew some 
thing about hunting; for the slaying of the hyenas, who 
carried off the young lambs and kids from the villages, and 
the great river-horses, which came out and devastated the 
fields, was a part of the business of every villager. 

The country where they now were was for the most part 
well cultivated and watered by the canals, which were filled 
when the Nile was high. 

A day's journey to the north lay Lake Menzaleh a great 
shallow lagoon, which stretched away to the Great Sea, from 
which it was separated only by a narrow bank of sand. 
The canals of the Nile reached nearly to the edge of this, 
and when the river rose above its usual height and threat 
ened to inundate the country beyond the usual limits, and 
to injure instead of benefiting the cultivators, great gates 
at the end of these canals would be opened, and the 
water find its way into the lagoon. There were, too, con 
nections between some of the lower arms of the Nile and 
the lake, so that the water, although salt, was less so than 


that of the sea. The lake was the abode of innumerable 
water-fowl of all kinds, and swarmed also with fish. 

These lakes formed a fringe along the whole of the 
northern coast of Egypt, and it was from these and the 
swampy land near the mouths of the Nile that the greater 
portion of the fowl and fish that formed important items in 
the food of the Egyptians was drawn. To the south-east 
lay another chain of lakes, whose water was more salt than 
that of the sea. It was said that in olden times these had 
been connected by water both with the Great Sea to the 
North and the Southern Sea; and even now, when the 
south wind blew strong, and the waters of the Southern 
Sea were driven up the gulf with force, the salt water 
flowed into Lake Timsah, so called because it swarmed 
with crocodiles. 

" I shall be busy for some days, to begin with," Ameres 
said to his son on the evening of their arrival, " and it will 
therefore be a good opportunity for you to see something 
of the various branches of sport that are to be enjoyed in 
this part of Egypt. The steward will place men at your 
disposal, and you can take with you Amuba and Jethro. 
He will see that there are slaves to carry provisions and 
tents, for it will be necessary for much of your sport that 
you rise early, and not improbably you may have to sleep 
close at hand." 

In the morning Chebron had an interview with the 
steward, who told him that he had arranged the plan for an 

"You will find little about here, my lord," he said, 
"beyond such game as you would obtain near Thebes. 
But a day's journey to the north you will be near the 
margin of the lake, and there you will get sport of all kinds, 
and can at your will fish in its waters, snare water-fowl, 
hunt the great river-horse in the swamps, or chase the 
hyena in the low bushes on the sand-hills. I have ordered 
all to be in readiness, and in an hour the slaves with the 


provisions will be ready to start. The hunters of this part 
of the country will be of little use to you, so I have ordered 
one of my chief men to accompany you. 

"He will see that when you arrive you obtain men skilled 
in the sport, and acquainted with the locality and the habits 
of the wild creatures there. My lord your father said you 
would probably be away for a week, and that on your 
return you would from time to time have a day's hunting in 
these parts. He thought that as your time will be more 
occupied then, it were better that you should make this dis 
tant expedition to begin with." 

An hour later some twenty slaves drew up before the 
house, carrying on their heads, provisions, tents, and other 
necessaries. A horse was provided for Chebron, but he 
decided that he would walk with Amuba. 

" There is no advantage in going on a horse," he said, 
" when you have to move at the pace of footmen, and pos 
sibly we may find something to shoot on the way." 

The leader of the party, upon hearing Chebron's decision, 
told him that doubtless when they left the cultivated 
country, which extended but a few miles further north, game 
would be found. Six dogs accompanied them. Four of 
them were powerful animals, kept for the chase of the more 
formidable beasts, the hyena or lion, for although there were 
no lions in the flat country, they abounded in the broken 
grounds at the foot of the hills to the south. The other 
two were much more lightly built, and were capable of 
running down a deer. Dogs were held in high honour in 
Egypt. In some parts of the country they were held to be 
sacred. In all they were kept as companions and friends in 
the house as well as for the purposes of the chase. The 
season was the cold one, and the heat was so much less than 
they were accustomed to at Thebes where the hills which 
inclosed the plain on which the city was built cut off much 
of the air, and seemed to reflect the sun's rays down upon 
it that the walk was a pleasant one. 


Chebron and Amuba, carrying their bows, walked along, 
chatting gaily at the head of the party. Jethro and Rabah 
the foreman came next. Then followed two slaves, leading 
the dogs in leashes, ready to be slipped at a moment's notice, 
while the carriers followed in the rear. Occasionally they 
passed through scattered villages, where the women came 
to their doors to look at the strangers, and where generally 
offerings of milk and fruit were made to them. The men 
were for the most part at work in the fields* 

"They are a stout-looking race. Stronger and more 
bony than our own people," Chebron remarked to the leader 
of the party. 

" They are stubborn to deal with," he replied. " They 
till their ground well, and pay their portion of the produce 
without grumbling, but when any extra labour is asked of 
them there is sure to be trouble. It is easier to manage 
a thousand Egyptian peasants than a hundred of these 
Israelites, and if forced labour is required for the public 
service it is always necessary to bring down the troops 
before we can obtain it. 

"But indeed they are hardly treated fairly, and have 
suffered much. They arrived in Egypt during the reign of 
Usertuen I, and had land allotted to them. During the 
reign of the king and other successors of his dynasty they 
were held in favour, and multiplied greatly; but when the 
Theban dynasty succeeded that of Memphis, the kings, find 
ing this foreign people settled here, and seeing that they 
were related by origin to the shepherd tribes who at various 
times have threatened our country from the east, and have 
even conquered portions of it and occupied it for long 
periods, they regard them with hostility, and have treated 
them rather as prisoners of war than as a portion of the 
people. Many burdens have been laid upon them. They 
have had to give far more than their fair share of labour 
towards the public works, the making of bricks, and the 
erection of royal tombs and pyramids." 


" It is strange that they do not shave their heads as do 
our people," Chebron said. 

" But I do not," Amuba laughed, " nor Jethro." 

"It is different with you," Chebron replied. "You do 
not labour and get the dust of the soil in your hair. 
Besides, you do keep it cut quite short. Still, I think you 
would be more comfortable if you followed our fashion." 

"It is all a matter of habit," Amuba replied. "To us, 
when we first came here, the sight of all the poorer people 
going about with their heads shaven was quite repulsive 
and as for comfort, surely one's own hair must be more 
comfortable than the great wigs that all of the better class 

" They keep off the sun," Chebron said, "when one is out 
of doors, and are seldom worn in the house, and then when 
one comes in one can wash off the dust." 

"I can wash the dust out of my hair," Amuba said. 
"Still I do think that these Israelites wear their hair in 
conveniently long; and yet the long plaits that their women 
wear down their back are certainly graceful, and the women 
themselves are fair and comely." 

Chebron shook his head. "They may be fair, Amuba, 
but I should think they would make very troublesome 
wives. They lack altogether the subdued and submissive 
look of our women. They would, I should say, have opinions 
of their own, and not be submissive to their lords; is that 
not so, RabahT' 

" The women like the men have spirit and fire," the fore 
man answered, "and have much voice in all domestic matters; 
but I do not know that they have more than with us. They 
can certainly use their tongues; for, at times, when soldiers 
have been here to take away gangs of men for public works, 
they have more trouble with them than with the men. The 
latter are sullen, but they know that they must submit; but 
the women gather at a little distance and scream curses and 
abuse at the troops, and sometimes even pelt them with 


stones, knowing that the soldiers will not draw weapon upon 
them, although not unfrequently it is necessary in order to 
put a stop to the tumult to haul two or three of their 
leaders off to prison." 

" I thought they were viragoes," Chebron said with a 
laugh. " I would rather hunt a lion than have the women 
of one of these villages set upon me." 

In a few miles cultivation became more rare; sand hills 
took the place of the level fields, and only here and there in 
the hollows were patches of cultivated ground. Rabah now 
ordered the slave leading the two fleet dogs to keep close 
up and be in readiness to slip them. 

"We may see deer at any time now," he said. "They 
abound in these sandy deserts which form their shelter, and 
yet are within easy distance of fields where when such 
vegetation as is here fails them they can go for food." 

A few minutes later a deer started from a clump of bushes. 
The dogs were instantly let slip and started in pursuit. 

" Hurry on a hundred yards and take your position on that 
mound!" Rabah exclaimed to Chebron, while at the same 
time he signalled to the slaves behind to stop. " The dogs 
know their duty, and you will see they will presently drive 
the stag within shot." 

Chebron called Amuba to follow him and ran forward. 
By the time they reached the mound the stag was far away, 
with the dogs labouring in pursuit. At present they seemed 
to have gained but little, if at all, upon him, and all were 
soon hidden from sight among the sand hills. In spite of 
the assurance of Rabah the lads had doubts whether the 
dogs would ever drive their quarry back to the spot where 
they were standing, and it was full a quarter of an hour 
before pursuers and pursued came in sight again. The pace 
had greatly fallen off, for one of the dogs was some twenty 
yards behind the stag, the other was out on its flank at 
about the same distance away, and was evidently aiding in 
turning it towards the spot where the boys were standing. 


" We will shoot together," Chebron said. " It will come 
within fifty yards of us." 

They waited until the stag was abreast of them. The 
dog on its flank had now fallen back to the side of his 
companion as if to leave the stag clear for the arrows of the 
hunters. The lads fired together just as the stag was abreast ; 
but it was running faster than they had allowed for, and 
both arrows flew behind it. They uttered exclamations of 
disappointment, but before the deer had run twenty yards 
it gave a sudden leap into the air and fell over. Jethro 
had crept up and taken his post behind some bushes to the 
left of the clump in readiness to shoot should the others 
miss, and his arrow had brought the stag to the ground. 

"Well done, Jethro!" Amuba shouted. "It is so long 
since I was out hunting that I seem to have lost my skill; 
but it matters not since we have brought him down." 

The dogs stood quiet beside the deer who was struggling 
on the ground, being too well trained to interfere with it. 
Jethro ran out and cut its throat. The others were soon 
standing beside it. It was of a species smaller than those 
to which the deer of Europe belong, with two long straight 

"It will make a useful addition to our fare to-night," 
Rabah said, " although, perhaps, some of the other sorts are 
better eating." 

"Do the dogs never pull them down by themselves?" 
Amuba asked. 

"Very seldom. These two are particularly fleet, but I 
doubt whether they would have caught it These deer can 
run for a long time, and although they will let dogs gain 
upon them they can leave them if they choose. Still I have 
known this couple run down a deer when they could not 
succeed in driving it within bowshot; but they know very 
well they ought not to do so, for, of course, deer are of no 
use for food unless the animals are properly killed and the 
blood allowed to escape." 


Several other stags were started, but these all escaped, 
the dogs being too fatigued with their first run to be able 
to keep up with them. The other dogs were therefore 
unloosed and allowed to range about the country. They 
started several hyenas, some of which they themselves 
killed; others they brought to bay until the lads ran up 
and despatched them with their arrows, while others which 
took to flight in sufficient time got safely away, for the 
hyena, unless overtaken just at the start, can run long and 
swiftly and tire out heavy dogs such as those the party had 
with them. 

After walking some fifteen miles the lads stopped suddenly 
on the brow of a sand hill In front of them was a wide 
expanse of water bordered by a band of vegetation. Long 
rushes and aquatic plants formed a band by the water's- 
edge, while here and there huts with patches of cultivated 
ground dotted the country. 

" We are at the end of our journey," Rabah said. "These 
huts are chiefly inhabited by fowlers and fishermen. We 
will encamp at the foot of this mound. It is better for us 
not to go too near the margin of the water, for the air is 
not salubrious to those unaccustomed to it The best hunt 
ing ground lies a few miles to our left, for there, when the 
river is high, floods come down through a valley which is at 
all times wet and marshy. There we may expect to find 
game of all kinds in abundance." 



THE tents, which were made of light cloth intended to 
keep off the night dews rather than to afford warmth, 
were soon pitched, fires were lighted with fuel that had 


been brought with them in order to save time in searching 
for it, and Rabah went off to search for fish and fowl. He 
returned in half an hour with a peasant carrying four ducks 
and several fine fish. 

"We shall do now," he said; "with these and the stag 
our larder is complete. Everything but meat we have 
brought with us." 

Chebron, although he had kept on bravely, was fatigued 
with his walk and was glad to throw himself down on the 
sand and enjoy the prospect which to him was a new one, 
for he had never before seen so wide an expanse of water. 

When on the top of the hill he had made out a faint dark 
line in the distance, and this Rabah told him was the bank 
of sand that separated the lake from the great sea. Now 
from his present position this was invisible, and nothing 
but a wide expanse of water stretching away until it seemed 
to touch the sky met his view. Here and there it was 
dotted with dark patches which were, Rabah told him, 
clumps of water-fowl, and in the shallow water near the 
margin which was but a quarter of a mile away he could 
see vast numbers of wading birds, white cranes, and white 
and black ibises, while numbers of other water-fowl, looking 
like black specks, moved about briskly among them. 

Sometimes with loud cries a number would rise on the 
wing, and either make off in a straight line across the water 
or circle round and settle again when they found that their 
alarm was groundless. 

"It is lovely, is it not?" he exclaimed to Amuba, who 
was standing beside him leaning on his bow and looking 
over the water. 

Amuba did not reply immediately, and Ohebron looking 
up saw that there were tears on his cheeks. 

"What is it, Amuba?" he asked anxiously. 

" It is nothing, Chebron ; but the sight of this wide water 
takes my thoughts homewards. Our city stood on a sea 
like this, not so large as they say is this great sea we are 


looking at, but far too large for the eye to see across, and it 
was just such a view as this that I looked upon daily from 
the walls of our palace, save that the shores were higher." 

" Maybe you will see it again some day, Amuba," Chebron 
said gently. 

Amuba shook his head. 

"I fear the chances are small indeed, Chebron. Jethro 
and I have talked it over hundreds of times, and on our 
route hither we had determined that if we fell into the 
hands of harsh masters, we would at all hazards try some 
day to make our escape; but the journey is long and would 
lie through countries subject to Egypt. The people of the 
land to be passed over speak languages strange to us, and 
it would be well nigh impossible to make the journey in 
safety. Still we would have tried it As it is, we are 
well contented with our lot, and should be mad indeed to 
forsake it on the slender chances of finding our way back to 
the land of the Rebu, where, indeed, even if we reached it, 
I might not be well received, for who knows what king may 
now be reigning there." 

"And if you could get away and were sure of arriving 
there safely, would you exchange all the comforts of a 
civilized country like Egypt for a life such as you have 
described to me among your own people 1 ?" 

" There can be no doubt, Chebron, that your life here is 
far more luxurious and that you are far more civilized than 
the Rebu. By the side of your palaces our houses are but 
huts. We are ignorant even of reading and writing. A 
pile of rushes for our beds and a rough table and stools 
constitute our furniture; but, perhaps, after all one is not 
really happier for all the things you have. You may have 
more enjoyments, but you have greater cares. I suppose 
every man loves his own country best, but I do not think 
that we can love ours as much as you do. In the first 
place, we have been settled there but a few generations, 
large numbers of our people constantly moving west, either 


by themselves or joining with one of the peoples who push 
past us from the far East; besides, wherever we went we 
should take our country with us, build houses like those we 
left behind, live by the chase or fishing in one place as 
another, while the Egyptians could nowhere find a country 
like Egypt. I suppose it is the people more than the country, 
the familiar language, and the familiar faces and ways. I 
grant freely that the Egyptians are a far greater people than 
we, more powerful, more learned, the masters of many arts, 
the owners of many comforts and luxuries, and yet one 
longs sometimes for one's free life among the Rebu." 

" One thing is, Amuba, you were a prince there and you 

are not here. Had you been but a common man, born to 

labour, to toil, or to fight at the bidding of your king, you 

might perhaps find that the life even of an Egyptian peasant 

v^is easier and more pleasant than yours was." 

"That may be," Amuba said thoughtfully, "and yet I 
think that the very poorest among us was far freer and 
more independent than the richest of your Egyptian peasants. 
He did not grovel on the ground when the king passed along. 
It was open to him if he was braver than his fellows to rise in 
rank. He could fish, or hunt, or till the ground, or fashion 
arms as he chose; his life was not tied down by usage or 
custom. He was a man, a poor one, perhaps a half savage 
one, if you will but he was a man, while your Egyptian 
peasants, free as they may be in name, are the very slaves 
of law and custom. But I see that the meal is ready, and 
1 have a grand appetite." 

" So have I, Amuba. It is almost worth while walking 
a long way for the sake of the appetite one gets at the 

The meal was an excellent one. One of the slaves who 
had been brought was an adept at cooking, and fish, birds, 
and venison were alike excellent, and for once the vege 
tables that formed so large a portion of the ordinary Egyp 
tian repast were neglected. 

( 481 ) O 


"What are we going to do to-morrow, Rabah?" Chebron 
asked after the meal was concluded. 

"I have arranged for to-morrow, if such is your pleasure, 
my lord, that you shall go fowling. A boat will take you 
along the lake to a point about three miles off where the 
best sport is to be had, then when the day is over it will 
carry you on another eight miles to the place I spoke to 
you of where good sport was to be obtained. I shall meet 
you on your landing there, and will have everything in 
readiness for you." 

" That will do well," Chebron said. " Amuba and Jethro, 
you will, of course, come with me." 

As soon as it was daylight Rabah led Chebron down to 
the lake, and the lad with Amuba and Jethro entered the 
boat, which was constructed of rushes covered with pitch, 
and drew only two or three inches of water. Two men with 
long poles were already in the boat, they were fowlers by 
profession, and skilled in all the various devices by which 
the water-fowl were captured. They had, during the night, 
been preparing the boat for the expedition by fastening 
rushes all round it; the lower ends of these dipped into the 
water, the upper ends were six feet above it, and the rushes 
were so thickly placed together as to form an impenetrable 

The boat was square at the stern, and here only was 
there an opening a few inches wide in the rushes to enable 
the boatman standing there to propel the boat with his pole. 
One of the men took his station here, the other at the bow, 
where he peered through a little opening between the rushes, 
and directed his comrade in the stern as to the course he 
should take. In the bottom of the boat lay two cats who, 
knowing that their part was presently to come, watched all 
that was being done with an air of intelligent interest. A 
basket well stored with provisions, and a jar of wine, were 
placed on board, and the boat then pushed noiselessly off. 

Parting the reeds with their fingers and peeping out, the 


boys saw that the boat was not making out into the deeper 
part of the lake, but was skirting the edge, keeping only a 
few yards out from the band of rushes at its margin. 

"Do you keep this distance all the way?" Chebron asked 
the man with the pole. 

The man nodded. 

"As long as we are close to the rushes the water-fowl do 
not notice our approach, while were we to push out into the 
middle they might take the alarm; although we often do 
capture them in that way, but in that case we get to wind 
ward of the flock we want to reach, and then drift down 
slowly upon them, but we shall get more sport now by 
keeping close in. The birds are numerous, and you will 
soon be at work." 

In five minutes the man at the bow motioned his pas 
sengers that they were approaching a flock of water-fowl. 
Each of them took up his bow and arrows and stood in 
readiness, while the man in the stern used his pole even 
more quickly and silently than before. Presently at a signal 
from his comrades he ceased poling. All round the boat 
there were slight sounds low contented quackings, and 
fluttering of wings, as the birds raised themselves and shook 
the water from their backs. Parting the rushes in front of 
them, the two lads and Jethro peeped through them. 

They were right in the middle of a flock of wild fowl 
who were feeding without a thought of danger from the 
clump of rushes in their midst. The arrows were already in 
their notches, the rushes were parted a little further, and the 
three shafts were loosed. The twangs of the bows startled 
the ducks, and stopping feeding they gazed at the rushes 
with heads on one side. Three more arrows glanced out, 
but this time one of the birds aimed at was wounded only, 
and uttering a cry of pain and terror it flapped along the 
surface of the water. 

Instantly, with wild cries of alarm, the whole flock arose, 
but before they had fairly settled in their flight, two more 


fell pierced with arrows. The cats had been standing on 
the alert, and as the cry of alarm was given leapt overboard 
from the stern, and proceeded to pick up the dead ducks, 
among which were included that which had at first flown 
away, for it had dropped in the water about fifty yards from 
the boat. A dozen times the same scene was repeated until 
some three score ducks and geese lay in the bottom of the 
boat. By this time the party had had enough of sport, and 
had indeed lost the greater part of their arrows, as all which 
failed to strike the bird aimed at went far down into the 
deep mud at the bottom and could not be recovered. 

" Now let the men show us their skill with their throw- 
ing-sticks," Chebron said. "You will see they will do better 
with them than we with our arrows." 

The men at once turned the boat's head towards a patch 
of rushes growing from the shallow water a hundred yards 
out in the lake. Numbers of ducks and geese were feeding 
round it, and the whole rushes were in movement from those 
swimming and feeding among them, for the plants were just 
at that time in seed. The birds were too much occupied to 
mark the approach of this fresh clump of rushes. The men 
had removed the screen from the side of the boat furthest 
from the birds, and now stood in readiness, each holding 
half-a-dozen sticks about two feet long, made of curved and 
crooked wood. 

When close to the birds the boat was swung round, and 
at once with deafening cries the birds rose; but as they did 
so the men with great rapidity hurled their sticks one after 
another among them, the last being directed at the birds 
which, feeding among the rushes, were not able to rise as 
rapidly as their companions. The lads were astonished at 
the effect produced by these simple missiles. So closely 
packed were the birds that each stick, after striking one, 
whirled and twisted among the others, one missile frequently 
bringing down three or four birds. 

The cats were in an instant at work. The flapping and 


noise was prodigious, for although many of the birds were 
killed outright, others struck in the wing or leg were but 
slightly injured. Some made off along the surface of the 
water, others succeeded in getting up and flying away, but 
the greater part were either killed by the cats, or knocked 
on the head by the poles of the two fowlers. Altogether 
twenty-seven birds were added to the store in the boat. 

"That puts our arrows to shame altogether, Amuba," 
Chebron said. "I have always heard that the fowlers on 
these lakes were very skilled with these throwing-sticks of 
theirs, but I could not have believed it possible that two men 
should in so short a space have effected such a slaughter; 
but then I had no idea of the enormous quantities of birds 
on these lakes." 

Jethro was examining the sticks which, as well as the 
ducks, had been retrieved by the cats. 

" They are curious things," he said to Amuba. " I was 
thinking before the men used them that straight sticks 
would be much better, and was wondering why they choose 
curved wood, but I have no doubt now the shape has some 
thing to do with it. You see as the men threw they gave 
them a strong spinning motion. That seems the secret of 
their action. It was wonderful to see how they whirled 
about among the fowl, striking one on the head, another on 
the leg, another on the wing, until they happened to hit one 
plump on the body; that seemed to stop them. I am sure 
one of those sticks that I kept my eyes fixed on must have 
knocked down six birds. I will practice with these things, 
and if I ever get back home I will teach their use to our 
people. There are almost as many water-fowl on our sea as 
there are here. I have seen it almost black with them down 
at the southern end, where it is bordered by swamps and 
reed-covered marshes." 

"How do they catch them there, Jethro," Chebron 

"They net them in decoys, and sometimes wade out 


among them with their heads hidden among floating boughs, 
and so get near enough to seize them by the legs and pull 
them under water; in that way a man will catch a score of 
them before their comrades are any the wiser." 

""We catch them the same way here," one of the fowlers 
who had been listening remarked. "We weave little bowers 
just large enough for our heads and shoulders to go into, 
and leave three or four of them floating about for some days 
near the spot where we mean to work, the wild fowl get 
accustomed to them, and after that we can easily go among 
them and capture numbers." 

" I should think fowling must be a good trade," Chebron 

"It is good enough at times," the man replied; "but the 
ducks are not here all the year. The long-legged birds are 
always to be found here in numbers, but the ducks are un 
certain, so are the geese. At certain times in the year they 
leave us altogether. Some say they go across the great sea 
to the north; others that they go far south into Nubia. 
Then even when they are here they are uncertain. Some 
times they are thick here, then again there is scarce one to 
be seen, and we hear they are swarming on the lakes further 
to the west Of course the wading birds are of no use for 
food; so you see when the ducks and geese are scarce, we 
have a hard time of it. Then, again, even when we have 
got a boat load we have a long way to take it to market, 
and when the weather is hot all may get spoilt before we 
can sell them; and the price is so low in these parts when 
the flocks are here, that it is hard to lay by enough money to 
keep us and our families during the slack time. If the great 
cities Thebes and Memphis lay near to us, it would be dif 
ferent. They could consume all we could catch, and we 
should get better prices, but unless under very favourable 
circumstances there is no hope of the fowl keeping good 
during the long passage up the river to Thebes. In fact 
were it not for our decoys we should starve. In these, of 

DECOYS. 103 

course, we take them alive, and send them in baskets to 
Thehes, and in that way get a fair price for them." 

"What sort of decoys do you use?" Jethro asked. 

"Many kinds," the man replied. "Sometimes we arch 
over the rushes, tie them together at the top so as to form 
long passages over little channels among the rushes; then 
we strew corn over the water, and place near the entrance 
ducks which are trained to swim about outside until a flock 
comes near; then they enter the passage feeding, and the 
others follow. There is a sort of door which they can push 
aside easily as they pass up, but cannot open on their return." 

" That is the sort of decoy they use in our country," 
Jethro said. 

"Another way," the fowler went on, "is to choose a spot 
where the rushes form a thick screen twenty yards deep 
along the bank, then a light net two or three hundred feet 
long is pegged down on to the shore behind them, and thrown 
over the tops of the rushes reaching to within a foot or two 
of the water. Here it is rolled up, so that when it is shaken 
out it will go down into the water. Then two men stand 
among the rushes at the ends of the net, while another goes 
out far on to the lake in a boat. When he sees a flock of 
ducks swimming near the shore he poles the beat towards 
them; not so rapidly as to frighten them into taking flight, 
but enough so to attract their attention and cause uneasiness. 
He goes backwards and forwards, gradually approaching the 
shore, and of course managing so as to drive them towards 
the point where the net is. When they are opposite this he 
closes in faster, and the ducks all swim in among the rushes. 
Directly they are in, the men at the ends of the net shake 
down the rolled-up part, and then the whole flock are 
prisoners. After that the fowlers have only to enter the 
rushes, and take them as they try to fly upwards and are 
stopped by the net. With luck two or three catches can 
be made in a day, and a thousand ducks and sometimes 
double that number can be captured. Then they are put 


into flat baskets just high enough for them to stand in with 
their heads out through the openings at the top, and so 
put on board the boat and taken up the Nile." 

"Yes, I have often seen the baskets taken out of the 
boat," Chebron said, "and thought how cruel it was to pack 
them so closely. But how do they feed them, for they must 
often be a fortnight on the way 1 ?" 

"The trader who has bought them of us and other 
fowlers waits until he has got enough together to freight 
a large craft for it would not pay to work upon a small 
scale accompanies them up the river, and feeds them 
regularly with little balls made of moistened flour, just in 
the same way that they do at the establishments in Upper 
Egypt, where they raise fowl and stuff them for the markets. 
If the boat is a large one, and is taking up forty or fifty 
thousand fowl, of course he takes two or three boys to help 
him, for it is no light matter to feed such a number, and 
each must have a little water as well as the meal. It seems 
strange to us here, where fowl are so abundant, that people 
should raise and feed them just as if they were bullocks. 
But I suppose it is true." 

"It is quite true," Chebron replied. "Amuba and I went 
to one of the great breeding farms two or three months ago. 
There are two sorts one where they hatch, the other where 
they fat them. The one we went to embraced both branches, 
but this is unusual. From the hatching-places collectors go 
round to all the people who keep fowls for miles round and 
bring in eggs, and besides these they buy them from others 
at a greater distance. The eggs are placed on sand laid on 
the floor of a low chamber, and this is heated by means of 
flues from a fire underneath. It requires great care to keep 
the temperature exactly right; but of course men who pass 
their lives at this work can regulate it exactly, and know 
by the feel just what is the heat at which the eggs should 
be kept. 

" There are eight or ten such chambers in the place we 


visited, so that every two or three days one or other of them 
hatches out and is ready for fresh eggs to be put down. The 
people who send the eggs come in at the proper time and 
receive each a number of chickens in proportion to the eggs 
they have sent, one chicken being given for each two eggs. 
Some hatchers give more, some less; what remain over are 
payment for their work, so you see they have to be very 
careful about the hatching. If they can hatch ninety 
chickens out of every hundred eggs, it pays them very well; 
but if, owing to the heat being too great or too little, only 
twenty or thirty out of every hundred are raised, they have 
to make good the loss. Of course they always put in a 
great many of the eggs they have themselves bought. They 
are thus able to give the right number to their customers 
even if the eggs have not turned out well. 

" Those that remain after the proper number has been 
given to the farmers the breeders sell to them or to others, 
it being no part of their business to bring up the chickens. 
The fattening business is quite different. At these places 
there are long rows of little boxes piled up on each other 
into a wall five feet high. The door of each of these boxes 
has a hole in it through which the fowl can put its head, 
with a little sort of shutter that closes down on it. A fowl 
is placed in each box. Then the attendants go round two 
together: one carries a basket filled with little balls of meal, 
the other lifts the shutter, and as the fowl puts its head 
out catches it by the neck, makes it open its beak, and 
with his other hand pushes the ball of meal down its throat. 
They are so skilful that the operation takes scarce a mo 
ment; then they go on to the next, and so on down the 
long rows until they have fed the last of those under their 
charge. Then they begin again afresh." 

" Why do they keep them in the dark 1 " the fowler 

" They told us that they did it because in the dark they 
were not restless, and slept all the time between their meals. 


Then each time the flap is lifted they think it is daylight, 
and pop out their heads at once to see. In about ten 
days they get quite fat and plump, and are ready for market." 

" It seems a wonderful deal of trouble," the fowler said. 
"But, I suppose, as they have a fine market close at hand, 
and can get good prices, it pays them. It seems more 
reasonable to me than the hatching business. Why they 
should not let the fowl hatch their own eggs is more than I 
can imagine." 

"Fowls will lay a vastly greater number of eggs than they 
will hatch," Chebron said. " A well-fed fowl should lay two 
hundred and fifty eggs in the year; and, left to herself, she 
will not hatch more than two broods of fifteen eggs in each. 
Thus, you see, as it pays the peasants much better to rear 
fowls than to sell eggs, it is to their profit to send their eggs 
to the hatching-places, and so to get a hundred and twenty- 
five chickens a year instead of thirty." 

"I suppose it does," the fowler agreed. "But here we are, 
my lord, at the end of our journey. There is the point 
where we are to land, and your servant who hired us is 
standing there in readiness for you. I hope that you are 
satisfied with your day's sport." 

Chebron said they had been greatly pleased, and in a few 
minutes the boat reached the landing-place where Eabah 
was awaiting them. One of the fowlers, carrying a dozen of 
the finest fowl they had killed, accompanied them to the 
spot Eabah had chosen for the encampment. Like the last, 
it stood at the foot of the sand-hills, a few hundred yards 
from the lake. 

"Is the place where we are going to hunt near here?" 
was Chebron's first question. 

"No, my lord; it is two miles away. But, in accordance 
with your order last night, I have arranged for you to fish 
to-morrow. In the afternoon I will move the tents a mile 
nearer to the country where you will hunt, but it is best 
not to go too close, for near the edge of these great swamps 


the air is unhealthy to those who are not accustomed 
to it." 

"I long to get at the hunting," Chebron said; "but it is 
better, as you say, to have the day's fishing first, for the 
work would seem tame after the excitement of hunting the 
river-horse. We shall be glad of our dinner as soon as we 
can get it, for although we have done justice to the food you 
put on board, we are quite ready again. Twelve hours of 
this fresh air from the sea gives one the appetite of a 

" Everything is already in readiness, my lord. I thought 
it better not to wait for the game you brought home, which 
will do well to-morrow, and so purchased fish and fowl from 
the peasants. As we have seen your boat for the last two 
or three hours, we were able to calculate the time of your 
arrival, and thus have everything in readiness." 

The dinner was similar to that on the previous day, except 
that a hare took the place of the venison a change for the 
better, as the hare was a delicacy much appreciated by the 
Egyptians. The following day was spent in fishing. For 
this purpose a long net was used, and the method was pre 
cisely similar to that in use in modern times. One end of 
the net was fastened to the shore, the net itself being coiled 
up in the boat. This was rowed out into the lake, the 
fishermen paying out the net as it went. A circuit was 
then made back to the shore, where the men seized the 
two ends of the net and hauled it to land, capturing the 
fish inclosed within its sweep. After seeing two or three 
hauls made, the lads went with Jethro on board the boat. 
They were provided by the fishermen with long two- 
pronged spears. 

The boat was then quietly rowed along the edge of the 
rushes, where the water was deeper than usual. It was, 
however, so clear that they could see to the bottom, and with 
their spears they struck at the fish swimming there. At first 
they were uniformly unsuccessful, as they were ignorant that 


allowance must be made for diffraction, and were puzzled at 
finding that their spears instead of going straight down at 
the fish they struck at, seemed to bend off at an angle at the 
water's-edge. The fishermen, however, explained to them 
that an allowance must be made for this, the allowance being 
all the greater the greater the distance the fish was from the 
boat, and that it was only when it lay precisely under them 
that they could strike directly at it. But even after being 
instructed in the matter they succeeded but poorly, and 
presently laid down their spears and contented themselves 
with watching their boatmen, who rarely failed in striking 
and bringing up the prey they aimed at. 

Presently their attention was attracted to four boats, each 
containing from six to eight men. Two had come from 
either direction, and when they neared each other volleys of 
abuse were exchanged between their occupants. 

"What is all this about?" Chebron asked, as the two 
fishermen laid by their spears, and with faces full of excite 
ment turned round to watch the boats. 

"The boats come from two villages, my lord, between 
which at present there is a feud arising out of some fishing 
nets that were carried away. They sent a regular challenge 
to each other a few days since, as is the custom here, and 
their champions are going to fight it out. You see the 
number of men on one side are equal to those on the other, 
and the boats are about the same size." 

Amuba and Jethro looked on with great interest, for they 
had seen painted on the walls representations of these fights 
between boatmen, which were of common occurrence, the 
Egyptians being a very combative race, and fierce feuds 
being often carried on for a long time between neighbouring 
villages. The men were armed with poles some ten feet in 
length, and about an inch and a half in diameter, their 
favourite weapons on occasions of this kind. The boats had 
now come in close contact, and a furious battle at once com 
menced, the clattering of the sticks, the heavy thuds of the 


blows, and the shouts of the combatants creating a clamour 
that caused all the water-fowl within a circle of half a mile 
to fly screaming away across the lake. The men all used 
their heavy weapons with considerable ability, the greater 
part of the blows being warded off. Many, however, took 
effect, some of the combatants being knocked into the 
water, others fell prostrate in their boats, while some 
dropped their long staves after a disabling blow on the 

"It is marvellous that they do not all kill each other," 
Jethro said. "Surely this shaving of the head, Amuba, 
which has always struck us as being very peculiar, has its 
uses, for it must tend to thicken the skull, for surely the 
heads of no other men could have borne such blows without 
being crushed like water-jars." 

That there was certainly some ground for Jethro's suppo 
sition is proved by the fact that Herodotus, long afterwards 
writing of the desperate conflicts between the villagers of 
Egypt, asserted that their skulls were thicker than those of 
any other people. 

Most of the men who fell into the water scrambled back 
into the boats and renewed the fight, but some sank imme 
diately and were seen no more. At last, when fully half the 
men on each side had been put hors de combat, four or five 
having been killed or drowned, the boats separated, no 
advantage resting with either party; and still shouting 
defiance and jeers at each other, the men poled in the 
direction of their respective villages. 

"Are such desperate fights as these common?" Chebron 
asked the fishermen. 

"Yes; there are often quarrels," one of them replied, 
quietly resuming his fishing as if nothing out of the ordi 
nary way had taken place. " If they are water-side villages 
their champions fight in boats, as you have seen; if not, 
equal parties meet at a spot half way between the villages 
and decide it on foot. Sometimes they fight with short 


sticks, the hand being protected by a basket hilt, while on 
the left arm a piece of wood, extending from the elbow to 
the tips of the fingers, is fastened on by straps, serving as a 
shield; but more usually they fight with the long pole, which 
we call the neboot." 

"It is a fine weapon," Jethro said, "and they guard their 
heads with it admirably, sliding their hands far apart. If 
I were back again, Amuba, I should like to organize a regi 
ment of men armed with those weapons. It would need 
that the part used as a guard should be covered with 
light iron to prevent a sword or axe from cutting through it; 
but with that addition they would make splendid weapons, 
and footmen armed with sword and shield would find it 
hard indeed to repel an assault by them." 

"The drawback would be," Amuba observed, "that each 
man would require so much room to wield his weapon that 
they must stand far apart, and each would be opposed to 
three or four swordsmen in the enemy's line." 

" That is true, Amuba, and you have certainly hit upon 
the weak point in the use of such a weapon; but for single 
combat, or the fighting of broken ranks, they would be 
grand. When we get back to Thebes if I can find any 
peasant who can instruct me in the use of these neboots I 
will certainly learn it." 

"You ought to make a fine player," one of the fishermen 
said, looking at Jethro's powerful figure. "I should not 
like a crack on the head from a neboot in your hands. But 
the sun is getting low, and we had best be moving to the 
point where you are to disembark." 

"We have had another capital day, Rabah," Chebron said 
when they reached their new encampment. " I hope that 
the rest will turn out as successful." 

"I think that I can promise you that they will, my lord. 
I have been making inquiries among the villagers, and find 
that the swamp in the river - bed abounds with hippo 


" How do you hunt them? on foot ?" 

"No, my lord. There is enough water in the river-bed 
for the flat boats made of bundles of rushes to pass up, 
while in many places are deep pools in which the animals 
lie during the heat of the day." 

"Are they ferocious animals?" Amuba asked. "I have 
never yet seen one; for though they say that they are com 
mon in the Upper Nile as well as found in swamps like this 
at its mouth, there are none anywhere in the neighbourhood 
of Thebes. I suppose that there is too much traffic for 
them, and that they are afraid of showing themselves in 
such water." 

"There would be no food for them," Rabah said. "They 
are found only in swamps like this, or in places on the 
Upper Nile where the river is shallow and bordered with 
aquatic plants, on whose roots they principally live. They 
are timid creatures, and are found only in, little frequented 
places. When struck they generally try to make their escape; 
for although occasionally they will rush with their enormous 
mouth open at a boat, tear it in pieces, and kill the hunter, 
this very seldom happens. As a rule they try only to fly." 

"They must be cowardly beasts!" Jethro said scornfully. 
"I would rather hunt an animal, be it ever so small, that 
will make a fight for its life. However, we shall see." 

Upon the following morning they started for the scene 
of action. An exclamation of surprise broke from them 
simultaneously when, on ascending a sand-hill, they saw 
before them a plain a mile wide extending at their feet. It 
was covered with rushes and other aquatic plants, and ex 
tended south as far as the eye could see. 

" For one month in the year," Rabah said, " this is a river, 
for eleven it is little more than a swamp, though the shallower 
boats can make their way up it many miles. But a little 
water always finds its way down either from the Nile itself 
or from the canals. It is one of the few places of Northern 
Egypt where the river-horse is still found, and none are 


allowed to hunt them unless they are of sufficient rank to 
obtain the permission of the governor of the province. The 
steward wrote for and obtained this as soon as he knew by 
letter from your father that you were accompanying him, 
and would desire to have some sport." 

"Are there crocodiles there?" Amuba asked. 

" Many," Eabah replied, " although few are now found in 
the lakes. The people here are not like those of the Theban 
zone, who hold them in high respect here they regard 
them as dangerous enemies, and kill them without mercy." 



TJIDED by Rabah the party now descended to the 
edge of the swamp. Here in the shallow water lay 
three boats, or rather rafts, constructed of bundles of bul 
rushes. They were turned up in front so as to form a sort 
of swan-necked bow, and in outline were exactly similar to 
the iron of modern skates. Upon each stood a native with 
a pole for pushing the rafts along, and three or four spears. 
These were of unusual shape, and the lads examined them 
with curiosity. They had broad short blades, and these 
were loosely attached to the shafts, so that when the animal 
was struck the shaft would drop out leaving the head em 
bedded in its flesh. To the head was attached a cord which 
was wound up on a spindle passing through a handle. 

"Those rafts do not look as if they would carry three," 
Chebron said. 

"They will do so at a push," the man replied; "but they 
are better with two only." 

"I will stop on shore, with your permission, Chebron," 


Jethro said. " I see there are a number of men here with 
ropes. I suppose they have something to do with the busi 
ness, and I will accompany them." 

"The ropes are for hauling the beasts ashore after we have 
struck them." 

"Well, I will go and help pull them. I can do my share 
at that, and should be of no use on one of those little rafts; 
indeed, I think that my weight would bury it under the 

"We have been out this morning, my lord," the boatman 
said, addressing Chebron, " and have found out that there is 
a river-horse lying in a pool a mile up the river. I think he 
is a large one and will give us good sport." 

Chebron and Amuba now took their places on the two 
rafts; and the men, laying down the spears and taking the 
poles, pushed off from the shore. Noiselessly they made 
their way among the rushes. Sometimes the channels were 
so narrow that the reeds almost brushed the rafts on both 
sides; then they opened out into wide pools, and here the 
water deepened so much that the poles could scarce touch 
the bottom. Not a word was spoken, as the men had warned 
them that the slightest noise would scare the hippopotami 
and cause them to sink to the bottom of the pools, where 
they would be difficult to capture. After half an hour's 
poling they reached a pool larger than any that they had 
hitherto passed, and extending on one side almost to the 
bank of the river. 

The man on his raft now signed to Chebron to take up 
one of the spears; but the lad shook his head and motioned 
to him to undertake the attack, for he felt that, ignorant 
as he was of the habits of the animal, it would be folly 
for him to engage in such an adventure. The man nodded, 
for he had indeed been doubting as to the course which the 
affair would take, for it needed a thrust with a very power 
ful arm to drive the spear through the thick hide of the 
hippopotamus. Amuba imitated Chebron's example, pre- 

(481) H 


ferring to be a spectator instead of an actor in this unknown 

For three or four minutes the boats lay motionless, then a 
blowing sound was heard, and the boatman pointed to what 
seemed to the boys two lumps of black mud projecting an 
inch or two above the water near the margin of the rushes. 
They could not have believed that these formed part of an 
animal, but that slight ripples widening out on the glassy 
water showed 'that there had been a movement at the spot 
indicated. With a noiseless push Chebron's hunter sent the 
boat in that direction, and then handed the end of the pole 
to Chebron, signing to him to push the boat back when he 
gave the signal. 

When within ten yards of the two little black patches 
there was a sudden movement; they widened into an enor 
mous head, and a huge beast rose to his feet, startled at the 
discovery he had just made that men were close at hand. 
In an instant the hunter hurled his spear with all his force. 
Tough as was the animal's hide, the sharp head cut its way 
through. With a roar the beast plunged into the rushes, 
the shaft of the spear falling out of its socket as it did so, 
and the strong cord ran out rapidly from the reel held by 
the hunter. Presently the strain ceased. "He has laid 
down again in shelter," the hunter said; "we will now fol 
low him and give him a second spear." 

Pushing the rushes aside the boat was forced along until 
they again caught sight of the hippopotamus, who was stand 
ing up to his belly in water. 

"Is he going to charge?" Chebron asked, grasping a 

" No, there is little chance of that Should he do so and 
upset the boat, throw yourself among the rushes and lie 
there with only your face above water. I will divert his 
attention and come back and get you into the boat when 
he has made off." 

Another spear was thrown with good effect There was 


a roar and a great splash. Chebron thought that the animal 
was upon them; but he turned off and dashed back to the 
pool where he had been first lying. 

" I thought that was what he would do," the hunter said. 
"They always seek shelter in the bottom of the deep pools; 
and here, you see, the water is not deep enough to cover 

The boat again followed the hippopotamus. Amuba was 
still on his raft on the pool. 

"What has become of him?" Chebron asked as they 
passed beyond the rushes. 

" He has sunk to the bottom of the pool," Amuba replied. 
" He gave me a start, I can tell you. We heard him burst 
ing through the rushes, and then he rushed out with his 
mouth open a mouth like a cavern; and then, just as I 
thought he was going to charge us, he turned off and sunk 
to the bottom of the pool." 

" How long will he lie there?" Chebron asked the hunter. 

"A long time if he is left to himself, but we are going to 
stir him up." 

So saying he directed the boat towards the rushes nearest 
to the bank and pushed the boat through them. 

"Oh, here you are, Jethro!" Chebron said, seeing the 
Rebu and the men he had accompanied standing on the 

"What has happened, Chebron? have you killed one of 
them? We heard a sort of roar and a great splashing." 

"We have not killed him, but there are two spear-heads 
sticking into him." 

The hunter handed the cords to the men and told them 
to pull steadily, but not hard enough to break the cords. 
Then he took from them the end of the rope they carried 
and poled back into the pool. 

"Those cords are not strong enough to pull the great 
beast to the shore, are they?" Chebron asked. 

"Oh, no, they would not move him; but by pulling on 


them it causes the spear-heads to give him pain, he gets 
uneasy, and rises to the surface in anger. Then, you see, I 
throw this noose over his head, and they can pull upon 

In two or three minutes the animal's head appeared above 
the water. The instant it did so the hunter threw the noose. 
The aim was correct, and with a jerk he tightened it round 
the neck. 

"Now, pull!" he shouted. 

The peasants pulled, and gradually the hippopotamus was 
drawn towards the bank, although struggling to swim in 
the opposite direction. 

As soon, however, as he reached the shallow water and 
his feet touched the ground he threw his whole weight upon 
the rope. The peasants were thrown to the ground and 
the rope dragged through their fingers as the hippopotamus 
again made his way to the bottom of the pool. The pea 
sants regained their feet and pulled on the rope and cords. 
Again the hippopotamus rose and was dragged to the shal 
low, only to break away again. For eight or ten times this 

" He is getting tired now," the hunter said. " Next time 
or the time after they will get him on shore. We will land 
then and attack him with spears and arrows." 

The hippopotamus was indeed exhausted, and allowed 
itself to be dragged ashore at the next effort without oppo 
sition. As soon as it did so he was attacked with spears by 
the hunters, Jethro, and the boys. The latter found that 
they were unable to drive their weapons through the thick 
skin, and betook themselves to their bows and arrows. The 
hunters, however, knew the points at which the skin was 
thinnest, and drove their spears deep into the animal just 
behind the fore leg, while the boys shot their arrows at its 
mouth. Another noose had been thrown over its head as it 
issued from the water, and the peasants pulling on the ropes 
prevented it from charging. Three or four more thrusts 


were given from the hunters; then one of the spears touched 
a vital part the hippopotamus sank on its knees and rolled 
over dead. 

The peasants sent up a shout of joy, for the flesh of the 
hippopotamus is by no means bad eating, and here was a 
store of food sufficient for the whole neighbourhood. 

" Shall we search for another, my lord!" the hunter asked 

" No. I think I have had enough of this. There is no 
fun in killing an animal that has not spirit to defend itself. 
What do you think, Amuba?" 

"I quite agree with you, Chebron. One might almost 
as well slaughter a cow. What is that?" he exclaimed 
suddenly, as a loud scream was heard at a short distance 
away. "It is a woman's voice." 

Chebron darted off in full speed in the direction of the 
sound, closely followed by Amuba and Jethro. They ran 
about a hundred yards along the bank when they saw the 
cause of the outcry. An immense crocodile was making his 
way towards the river, dragging along with it the figure of 
a woman. 

In spite of his reverence for the crocodile Chebron did 
not hesitate a moment, but rushing forward smote the 
crocodile on the nose with all his strength with the shaft 
of his spear. The crocodile dropped its victim and turned 
upon his assailant; but Jethro and Amuba were close behind, 
and these also attacked him. The crocodile seeing this ac 
cession of enemies now set out for the river, snapping its 
jaws together. 

"Mind its tail!" one of the hunters exclaimed running 

But the warning was too late, for the next moment Amuba 
received a tremendous blow which sent him to the ground. 
The hunter at the same moment plunged his spear into the 
animal through the soft skin at the back of its leg. Jethro 
followed his example on the other side. The animal checked 

118 "IS SHE DEAD?" 

its flight, and turning round and round lashed with its tail 
in all directions. 

"Keep clear of it!" the hunter shouted. "It is mortally 
wounded and will need no more blows." 

In fact the crocodile had received its death wound. Its 
movements became more languid, it ceased to lash its tail, 
though it still snapped at those nearest to it, but gradually this 
action also ceased, its head sank and it was dead. Jethro 
as soon as he had delivered his blow ran to Amuba. 

"Are you hurt?" he asked anxiously. 

" No, I don't think so," Amuba gasped. " The brute has 
knocked all the breath out of my body; but that's better 
than if he had hit me in the leg, for I think he would have 
broken it had he done so. How is the woman? is she 

" I have not had time to see," Jethro replied. " Let me 
help you to your feet, and let us see if any of your ribs are 
broken. I will see about her afterwards." 

Amuba on getting up declared that he did not think he 
was seriously hurt, although unable for the time to stand 

" I expect I am only bruised, Jethro. It was certainly a 
tremendous whack he gave me, and I expect I shall not be 
able to take part in any sporting for the next few days. 
The crocodile was worth a dozen hippopotami. There was 
some courage about him." 

They now walked across to Chebron, who was stooping 
over the figure of the crocodile's victim. 

"Why, she is but a girl!" Amuba exclaimed. "She is 
no older than your sister, Chebron." 

"Do you think she is dead?" Chebron asked in hushed 

" I think she has only fainted," Jethro replied. " Here," 
he shouted to one of the peasants who were gathered round 
the crocodile, "one of you run down to the water and 
bring up a gourd full?" 


" I don't think she is dead," Amuba said. " It seemed to 
me that the crocodile had seized her by the leg." 

" We must carry her somewhere," Jethro said, " and get 
some woman to attend to her. I will see if there is a hut 
near." He sprang up to the top of some rising ground and 
looked round. " There is a cottage close at hand," he said 
as he returned. " I daresay she belongs there." 

Bidding two of the peasants run to fetch some women, 
he lifted up the slight figure and carried her up the slope, 
the two lads following. On turning round the foot of a 
sand-hill they saw a cottage lying nestled behind it. It 
was neater and better kept than the majority of the huts of 
the peasants. The walls of baked clay had been white 
washed and were half covered with bright flowers. A patch 
of carefully cultivated ground lay around it. Jethro entered 
the cottage. On a settle at the further end a man was 
sitting. He was apparently of great age, his hair and long 
beard were snowy white. 

"What is it?" he exclaimed as Jethro entered. "Has 
the God of our fathers again smitten me in my old age, and 
taken from me my pet lamb? I heard her cry, but my 
limbs have lost their power, and I could not rise to come to 
her aid." 

" I trust that the child is not severely injured," Jethro 
said. " We had just killed a hippopotamus when we heard 
her scream, and running up found a great crocodile dragging 
her to the river, but we soon made him drop her. I trust 
that she is not severely hurt. The beast seemed to us to 
have seized her by the leg. We have sent to fetch some 
women. Doubtless they will be here immediately. Ah! 
here's the water." 

He laid the girl down upon a couch in the corner of the 
room, and taking the gourd from the peasant who brought 
it sprinkled some water on her face, while Amuba, by his 
direction, rubbed her hands. It was some minutes before 
she opened her eyes, and just as she did so two women 


entered the hut. Leaving the girl to their care, Jethro and 
the boys left the cottage. 

" I trust that the little maid is not greatly hurt," Amuba 
said. "By her dress it seems to me that she is an Israelite, 
though I thought we had left their land behind us on the 
other side of the desert. Still her dress resembles those of 
the women we saw in the village as we passed, and it is 
well for her it does so, for they wear more and thicker gar 
ments than the Egyptian peasant women, and the brute's 
teeth may not have torn her severely." 

In a few minutes one of the women came out and told them 
that the maid had now recovered and that she was almost 
unhurt. " The crocodile seems to have seized her by her 
garments rather than her flesh, and although the teeth 
have bruised her, the skin is unbroken. Her grandfather 
would fain thank you for the service you have rendered 

They re-entered the cottage. The girl was sitting on the 
ground at her grandfather's feet holding one of his hands in 
her's, while with his other he was stroking her head. As 
they entered, the women, seeing that their services were no 
longer required, left the cottage. 

" Who are those to whom I owe the life of my grand 
child?" the old man asked. 

"I am Chebron, the son of Ameres, high-priest of the 
temple of Osiris at Thebes. These are my friends, Amuba 
and Jethro, two of the Rebu nation who were brought to 
Egypt, and now live in my father's household." 

" We are his servants," Amuba said, " though he is good 
enough to call us his friends." 

" 'Tis strange," the old man said, " that the son of a priest 
of Osiris should thus come to gladden the last few hours of 
one who has always withstood the Egyptian gods. And yet 
had the crocodile carried off my Euth, it might have been 
better for her, seeing that ere the sun has risen and set 
many times she will be alone in the world." 


The girl uttered a little cry, and rising on her knees threw 
her arms round the old man's neck. 

"It must be so, my Ruth. I have lived a hundred and 
ten years in this land of the heathen, and my course is run ; 
and were it not for your sake I should be glad that it is so, 
for my life has been sorrow and bitterness. I call her my 
grandchild, but she is in truth the daughter of my grand 
child, and all who stood between her and me have passed 
away before me and left us alone together. But she trusts 
in the God of Abraham, and he will raise up a protector for 

Chebron, who had learned something of the traditions of 
the Israelites dwelling in Egypt, saw by the old man's words 
that Jethro's surmises were correct and that he belonged to 
that race. 

" You are an Israelite," he said gently. " How is it that 
you are not dwelling among your people instead of alone 
among strangers?" 

" I left them thirty years back when Ruth's mother was 
but a tottering child. They would not suffer me to dwell 
in peace among them, but drove me out because I testified 
against them." 

" Because you testified against them ?" Chebron repeated 
in surprise. 

"Yes. My father was already an old man when I was 
born, and he was one of the few who still clung to the faith 
of our fathers. He taught me that there was but one God, 
the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, and that all 
other gods were but images of wood and stone. To that 
faith I clung, though, after a while, I alone of all our people 
held to the belief. The others had forgotten their God and 
worshipped the gods of the Egyptians. When I would 
speak to them they treated my words as ravings and as 
casting dishonour on the gods they served. 

" My sons went with the rest, but my daughter learned 
the true faith from my lips and clung to it. She taught her 


daughter after her, and ten years ago when she too lay dying 
she sent Euth by a messenger to me, praying me to bring 
her up in the faith of our fathers, and saying that though 
she knew I was of a great age she doubted not that when 
my time came God would raise up protectors for the child. 
So for ten years we have dwelt here together, tilling and 
watering our ground and living on its fruit and by the sale 
of baskets that we weave and exchange for fish with our 
neighbours. The child worships the God of our fathers, and 
has grown and thriven here for ten years; but my heart is 
heavy at the thought that my hours are numbered and that 
I see no way after me but that Ruth shall return to our 
people, who will assuredly in time wean her from her faith." 

" Never, grandfather," the girl said firmly. " They may 
beat me, and persecute me, but I will never deny my God." 

"They are hard people the Israelites," the old man said 
shaking his head, " and they are stubborn, and must needs 
prevail against one so tender. However all matters are in 
the hands of God, who will again reveal himself in his due 
time to his people who have forgotten him." 

Amuba, looking at the girl, thought that she had more 
power of resistance than the old man gave her credit for. 
Her face was of the same style of beauty as that of some of 
the young women he had seen in the villages of the Israelites, 
but of a higher and finer type. Her face was almost oval, 
with soft black hair, and delicately-marked eyebrows run 
ning almost in a straight line below her forehead. Her eyes 
were large and soft, with long lashes veiling them, but there 
was a firmness about the lips and chin that spoke of a de 
termined will, and gave strength to her declaration "Never." 

There was silence a moment, and then Chebron said 
almost timidly: 

" My father, although high priest of Osiris, is not a bigot 
in his religion. He is wise and learned, and views all things 
temperately as my friends here can tell you. He knows of 
your religion; for I have heard him say that when they first 


came into this land the Israelites worshipped one God only. 
I have a sister who is of about the same age as Ruth, and is 
gentle and kind. I am sure that if I ask my father he will 
take your grandchild into his household to be a friend and 
companion to Mysa, and I am certain that he would never 
try to shake her religion, but would let her worship as she 

The old man looked fixedly at Chebron. 

" Your speech is pleasant and kind, young sir, and your 
voice has an honest ring. A few years back I would have 
said that I would rather the maiden were dead than a hand 
maid in the house of an Egyptian; but as death approaches 
we see things differently, and it may be that she would be 
better there than among those who once having known the 
true God have forgotten him and taken to the worship of 
idols. I have always prayed and believed that God would 
raise up protectors for Ruth, and it seems to me now that 
the way you have been brought hither in these latter days 
of my life is the answer to my prayer. Ruth, my child, you 
have heard the offer, and it is for you to decide. Will you 
go with this young Egyptian lord and serve his sister as a 
handmaiden, or will you return to the villages of our people?" 

Ruth had risen to her feet now, and was looking earnestly 
at Chebron, then her eyes turned to the faces of Amuba and 
Jethro, and then slowly went back again to Chebron. 

" I believe that God has chosen for me," she said at last, 
"and has sent them here not only to save my life, but to be 
protectors to me; their faces are all honest and good. If the 
father of this youth will receive me, I will, when you leave 
me, go and be the handmaid of his daughter." 

" It is well," the old man said. " Now I am ready to 
depart, for my prayers have been heard. May God deal 
with you and yours, Egyptian, even as you deal with my 

" May it be so," Chebron replied reverently. 

" I can tell you," Jethro said to the old man, " that in no 


household in Egypt could your daughter be happier than in 
that of Ameres. He is the lord and master of Amuba and 
myself, and yet, as you see, his son treats us not as servants, 
but as friends. Ameres is one of the kindest of men; and 
as to his daughter Mysa, whose special attendant I am, I 
would lay down my life to shield her from harm. Your 
grandchild could not be in better hands. As to her religion, 
although Ameres has often questioned Amuba and myself 
respecting the gods of our people, he has never once shown 
the slightest desire that we should abandon them for those 
of Egypt." 

"And now," Chebron said, "we will leave you; for doubt 
less the excitement has wearied you, and Ruth needs rest 
and quiet after her fright. We are encamped a mile away 
near the lake, and will come and see you to-morrow." 

Not a word was spoken for some time after they left the 
house, and then Chebron said: 

" It really would almost seem as if what that old man 
said was true, and that his God had sent us there that a 
protector might be found for his daughter. It was certainly 
strange that we should happen to be within sound of her 
voice when she was seized by that crocodile, and be able to 
rescue her just in time. It needed you see, first, that we 
should be there, then that the crocodile should seize her at 
that moment, and, lastly, that we should be just in time to 
save her being dragged into the river. A crocodile might 
have carried her away ten thousand times without any one 
being within reach to save her, and the chances were enor 
mously against any one who did save her being in a position 
to offer her a suitable home at her father's death." 

"It is certainly strange. You do not think that your 
father will have any objection to take her," Amuba asked. 

" Oh no, he may say that he does not want any more 
servants in the house, but I am sure that when he sees her, 
he will be pleased to have such a companion for Mysa. If 
it was my mother I do not know. Most likely she would 


say no; but when she hears that it has all been settled, she 
will not trouble one way or the other about it. I will write 
my father a letter telling him all about it, and send off one 
of the slaves with it at once. He can get back to-morrow, 
and this will gladden the old man's heart to know that it is 
all arranged. I wish to tell my father, too, of my trouble." 

" What trouble?" Amuba asked in surprise. "You have 
told me nothing about anything troubling you." 

"Do you not understand, Amuba. I am in trouble because 
I struck the crocodile; it is an impious action, and yet what 
could I do?" 

Amuba repressed an inclination to smile. 

"You could do nothing else, Chebron, for there was no time 
to mince matters. He was going too fast for you to explain 
to him that he was doing wrong in carrying off a girl, and 
you therefore took the only means in your power of stop 
ping him; besides the blow you dealt him did him no injury 
whatever. It was Jethro and the hunter who killed him." 

" But had I not delayed his flight, they could not have 
done so." 

"That is true enough, Chebron; but in that case he would 
have reached the water with his burden and devoured her 
at his leisure. Unless you think that his life is of much more 
importance than hers, I cannot see that you have anything 
to reproach yourself with." 

"You do not understand me, Amuba," Chebron said 
pettishly. " Of course I do not think that the life of an 
ordinary animal is of as much importance as that of a 
human being; but the crocodiles are sacred, and misfortune 
falls upon those who injure them." 

" Then in that case, Chebron, misfortune must fall very 
heavily on the inhabitants of those districts where the 
crocodile is killed wherever he is found. I have not heard 
that pestilence and famine visit those parts of Egypt with 
more frequency than they do the districts where the croco 
dile is venerated." 


Chebron made no answer. What Amuba said was doubt 
less true; but upon the other hand he had always been 
taught that the crocodile was sacred, and if so he could not 
account for the impunity with which these creatures were 
destroyed in other parts of Egypt. It was another of the 
puzzles that he so constantly met with. After a long pause 
he replied : 

"It may seem to be as you say; but you see, Amuba, 
there are some gods specially worshipped in one district, 
others in another. In the district that a god specially pro 
tects he would naturally be indignant were the animal 
sacred to him be slain, while he might pay no heed to the 
doings in those parts in which he is little concerned." 

" In that case, Chebron, you can clearly set your mind at 
rest. Let us allow that it is wrong to kill a crocodile in 
the district in which he is sacred and where a god is con 
cerned about his welfare, but that no evil consequences can 
follow the slaying of him in districts in which he is not 
sacred, and where his god, as you say, feels little interest 
in him." 

"I hope that is so, Amuba; and that as the crocodile is 
not a sacred animal here no harm may come from my 
striking one, though I would give much that I had not been 
obliged to do so. I hope that my father will regard the 
matter in the same light." 

" I have no doubt that he will do so, Chebron, especially 
as we agreed that you did no real harm to the beast." 

"Is it not strange, Jethro," Amuba said when Chebron 
had gone into the tent, "that wise and learned people like 
the Egyptians should be so silly regarding animals?" 

"It is strange, Amuba, and it was hard to keep from 
laughing to hear you so gravely arguing the question with 
Chebron. If all the people held the same belief I should 
not be surprised; but as almost every animal worshipped in 
one of the districts is hated and slain in another, and that 
without any evil consequences arising, one would have 


thought that they could not but see for themselves the 
folly of their belief. What are we going to do to-mor 

" I do not think that it is settled, we have had one day 
at each of the sports. Rabah said that to-morrow we could 
either go out and see new modes of fishing, or accompany 
the fowlers and watch them catching birds in the clap-nets, 
or go out into the desert and hunt ibex. Chebron did not 
decide, but I suppose when he has finished his letter we 
shall hear what he intends to do." 

After Chebron had finished his letter, which was a long 
one, he called Rabah and asked him to despatch it at once 
by the fleetest-footed of the slaves. 

" He will get there," he said, " before my father retires 
to rest. If he does not reply at once, he will probably 
answer in the morning, and at any rate the man ought to 
be back before mid-day." 

At dinner Amuba asked Chebron whether he had decided 
what they should do the next day, 

" We might go and look at the men with the clap-nets," 
Chebron answered. "They have several sorts in use, and 
take numbers of pigeons and other birds. I think that will 
be enough for to-morrow. We have had four days hard 
work, and a quiet day will be pleasant, and if we find the 
time goes slowly, we can take a boat across the lake and 
look at the great sea beyond the sand-hills that divide the 
lake from it; besides I hope we shall get my father's answer, 
and I should like some further talk with that old Israelite. 
It is interesting to learn about the religion that his fore 
fathers believed in, and in which it seems that he and his 
grandchild are now the last who have faith. 

"It will suit me very well to have a quiet day, Chebron; 
for in any case I do not think I could have accompanied 
you. My ribs are sore from the whack the crocodile gave 
me with his tail, and I doubt whether I shall be able to 
walk to-morrow." 


Indeed, the next morning Amuba was so stiff and sore 
that he was unable to rise from his couch. 

Soon after breakfast the messenger returned bringing a 
letter from Ameres. It was as follows : 

" It seems to me, Chebron, that Mysa has no occasion for 
further attendants; but as your story of this old Israelite 
and his daughter interests me, and the girl is of Mysa's 
age and might be a pleasant companion for her, I have no 
objection to her entering our household. I should have 
liked to talk with the old man himself, and to have heard 
from him more about the religion that Joseph and his 
people brought to Egypt. It is recorded in some of the 
scrolls that these people were monotheists; but although I 
have many times questioned Israelites, all have professed to 
be acquainted with no religion but that of Egypt. If you 
have further opportunity find out as much as you can from 
this old man upon the subject. 

" Assure him from me that his daughter shall be kindly 
treated in my household, and that no attempt whatever will 
be made to turn her from the religion she professes. As to 
your adventure with the crocodile, I do not think that your 
conscience need trouble you. It would certainly be unfor 
tunate to meet in Upper Egypt a crocodile carrying off a 
peasant, and I am not called upon to give an opinion as to 
what would be the proper course to pursue under the cir 
cumstances; but as you are at present in a district where 
the crocodile, instead of being respected, is held in detes 
tation, and as the people with you would probably have 
overtaken and slain him even without your intervention, 
I do not think that you need trouble yourself about the 
knock that you gave him across his snout. Had I found 
myself in the position you did I should probably have taken 
the same course. With respect to the girl, you had best 
give them instructions that when the old man dies she shall 
travel by boat to Thebes; arrived there, she will find no 
difficulty in learning which is my house, and on presenting 


herself there she will be well received. I will write at once to 
Mjsa, telling her that you have found a little Israelite hand 
maiden as her special attendant, and that, should the girl 
arrive before my return, she is at once to assume that 

" It would not do for her to come here were her grand 
father to die before we leave for home. In the first place she 
would be in the way, and in the second her features and 
dress would proclaim her to be an Israelite. The people in 
the villages she passed through might detain her, and insist 
on her remaining with them; or, should she arrive here, the 
fact of her departing with us might be made a subject of 
complaint, and the Israelites would not improbably declare 
that I had carried off a young woman of their tribe as a 
slave. Therefore, in all respects it is better that she should 
proceed up the river to Thebes. 

"As they are poor you had best leave a sum of money 
with them to pay for her passage by boat, and for her sup 
port during the voyage. I find that I shall have finished 
with the steward earlier than I had expected, and shall be 
starting in about three days to inspect the canals and lay out 
plans for some fresh ones; therefore, if by that time you have 
had enough sport to satisfy you, you had best journey back." 

" My father has consented," Chebron said joyously as he 
finished the letter. "I felt sure that he would; still, I was 
anxious till I got the letter, for it would have been a great 
disappointment to the old man could it not have been man 
aged. I will go off and tell him at once. I shall not want 
you this morning, Jethro; so you can either stay here with 
Amuba or do some fishing or fowling on the lake. The 
boat is all in readiness, you know." 

Chebron went off to the cottage. Ruth was in the garden 
tending the vegetables, and he stopped to speak to her be 
fore entering. 

" I have not heard yet," he said, " how it came about that 
you were seized by the crocodile." 

(481) I 


" 1 hardly know how it was," she said. " I am in the 
habit of going down many times a day to fetch up water for 
the garden, and I always keep a look-out for these creatures 
before I fill my jar; but yesterday I had just gone round 
the corner of the sand-hill when I was struck down with a 
tremendous blow, and a moment afterwards the creature 
seized me. I gave a scream; but I thought I was lost, for 
there are no neighbours within sound of the voice, and my 
grandfather has not been able to walk for months. Then I 
prayed as well as I could for the pain, and God heard me 
and sent you to deliver me." 

" It is not often that they go up so far from the river, is 

"Not often. But yesterday we had a portion of a kid from 
a neighbour and were cooking it, and perhaps the smell 
attracted the crocodile; for they say that they are quick at 
smell, and they have been known to go into cottages and 
carry off meat from before the fire." 

"I see you walk very lame still" 

" Yes. Grandfather would have me keep still for a day or 
two ; but I think that as soon as the bruises die out and the 
pain ceases I shall be as well as ever. Besides, what would 
the garden do without water? My grandfather will be glad 
to see you, my lord; but he is rather more feeble than usual 
this morning. The excitement of yesterday has shaken him." 

She led the way into the cottage. 

" Your granddaughter has told me you are not very strong 
to-day," Chebron began. 

" At my age," the old man said, " even a little thing up 
sets one, and the affair of yesterday was no little thing. I 
wonder much that the agitation did not kill me." 

" I have satisfactory news to give you," Chebron said. " I 
yesterday despatched a message to my father, and have just 
received the answer." And taking out the scroll he read 
aloud the portion in which Ameres stated his readiness to 
receive Euth in his household, and his promise that no 


pressure whatever should be put upon her to abandon her 

"The Lord be praised!" the old man exclaimed. "The 
very animals are the instruments of his will, and the croco 
dile that threatened death to the child was, in truth, the 
answer sent to my prayer. I thank you, my young lord; 
and as you and yours deal with my child, so may the God 
of my fathers deal with you. But she may stay on with me 
for the little time that remains, may she notl" 

" Surely. We should not think of taking her now. My 
father sends instructions as to what she is to do, and money 
to pay for her journey up the Nile to Thebes. This is what 
he says." And he read the portion of the scroll relating to 
the journey. "And now," he said, "let me read to you 
what my father says about your religion. He is ever a 
searcher after truth, and would fain that I should hear from 
your lips and repeat to him all that you can tell me relating 
to this God whom you worship." 

" That will I with gladness, my young lord. The story 
is easily told, for it is simple, and not like that of your 
religion with its many deities." 

Chebron took a seat upon a pile of rushes and prepared 
to listen to the old man's story of the God of the Israelites. 



FOE two days longer the party lingered by the side of 
the lake fishing and fowling, and then returned across 
the desert to the head-quarters of Ameres. Two months 
were spent in examining canals and water-courses, seeing 
that the dykes were strengthened where it needed, and that 


the gates and channels were in good repair. Levels were 
taken for the construction of several fresh branches, which 
would considerably extend the margin of cultivation. The 
natives were called upon to furnish a supply of labour for 
their formation; but the quota was not furnished without 
considerable grumbling on the part of the Israelites, although 
Ameres announced that payment would be given them for 
their work At last, having seen that everything was in 
train, Ameres left one of his subordinates to carry out the 
work, and then started with his son for Thebes. 

A fortnight after his return home he was informed that 
a young female, who said her name was Ruth, wished to see 
him. He bade the servant conduct her to him, and at the 
same time summon Chebron from his studies. The lad 
arrived first, and as Ruth entered presented her to his 

"Welcome, child, to this house," the high-priest said. "I 
suppose by your coming that the old man, your great-grand 
father, of whom my son has spoken to me, is no more?" 

"He died a month since, my lord," Ruth replied; "but 
it was two weeks before I could find a passage in a boat 
coming hither." 

"Chebron, tell Mysa to come here," Ameres said, and 
the lad at once fetched Mysa, who had already heard that an 
Israelite girl was coming to be her special attendant, and 
had been much interested in Chebron's account of her and 
her rescue from the crocodile. 

"This is Ruth, Mysa," Ameres said when she entered, 
" who has come to be with you. She has lost her last friend, 
and I need not tell you, my child, to be kind and conside 
rate with her. You know what you would suffer were you 
to be placed among strangers, and how lonely you would be 
at first She will be a little strange to our ways, but you 
will soon make her at home, I hope." 

" I will try and make her happy," Mysa replied, looking 
at her new companion. 


Although the girls were about the same age, Euth looked 
the elder of the two. Mysa was still little more than a child, 
full of fun and life. Euth was broken down by the death 
of her grandfather and by the journey she had made; but 
in any case she would have looked older than Mysa, the 
difference being in manner rather than in face or figure. 
Euth had long had many responsibilities on her shoulders. 
There was the care and nursing of the old man, the cultiva 
tion of the garden on which their livelihood depended, the 
exchange of its products for other articles, the preparation 
of the meals. Her grandfather had been in the habit of 
talking to her as a grown-up person, and there was an 
expression of thoughtf ulness and gravity in her eyes. Mysa, 
on the contrary, was still but a happy child, who had never 
known the necessity for work or exertion; her life had 
been like a summer day, free from all care and anxiety. 
Naturally, then, she felt as she looked at Euth that she was 
a graver and more serious personage than she had expected 
to see. 

"I think I shall like you," she said when her examina 
tion was finished, " when we know each other a little better, 
and I hope you will like me; because, as my father says, we 
are to be together." 

" I am sure we shall," Euth replied, looking admiringly 
at Mysa's bright face. "I have never had anything to 
do with girls of my own age, and you will find me clumsy 
at first ; but I will do my best to please you, for your father 
and brother have been very good to me." 

" There, take her away, Mysa. I have told your mother 
about her coming, and want to go on with my reading," 
Ameres said. " Show her your garden and animals, and 
where she is to sleep; and give her in charge of old Male, 
who will see that she has all that she wants, and get suitable 
garments and all that is requisite." 

Before many days were over Euth became quite at home in 
her new abode. Her position was a pleasant one. She was at 


once companion and attendant to Mysa, accompanying her 
in her walks under the escort of Jethro, playing with her in 
the garden, helping her to feed the animals, and amusing 
her when she preferred to sit quiet by telling her about 
her life near the lake by the great sea, about the fowling 
and fishing there, and especially about the river course close 
to the cottage, with its hippopotami and crocodiles. Ruth 
brightened up greatly in her new surroundings, which to her 
were marvellous and beautiful; and she soon caught some 
thing of the cheerfulness of her young mistress, and the 
laughter of the two girls was often heard rising from Mysa's 
inclosure at the farther end of the quiet garden. 

Shortly after the return from their visit to Lower Egypt 
an important event took place, Chebron being initiated into 
the lowest grade of the priesthood. His duties at first were 
slight; for aspirants to the higher order, who were with 
scarce an exception the sons of the superior priesthood, 
were not expected to perform any of the drudgery that 
belonged properly to the work of the lower class of the 
order. It was necessary to ascend step by step; but, until 
they arrived at the grade beyond which study and intelli 
gence alone led to promotion, their progress was rapid, and 
they were expected only to take part in such services and 
ceremonies of the temple as required the attendance of all 
attached to it 

Kis duties, therefore, interfered but little with his studies 
or ordinary mode of life, and he was almost as much at 
home as before. He could now, however, enter the temple 
at all hours, and had access to the inner courts and cham 
bers, the apartments where the sacred animals were kept, 
and other places where none but the priests were permitted 
to enter. He availed himself of this privilege chiefly of an 
evening. All the great courts were open to the sky, and 
Chebron loved to roam through them in the bright moon 
light, when they were deserted by the crowd of worship 
pers and all was still and silent. At that time the massive 


columns, the majestic architecture, the strange figures of the 
gods, exercised an influence upon his imagination which was 
wanting in the daytime. Upon the altars before the chief 
gods fire ever burned, and in the light of the flickering flames 
the faces assumed life and expression. 

Now and then a priest in his white linen robe moved 
through the deserted courts; but for the most part Chebron 
had undisturbed possession, and was free to meditate with 
out interruption. He found that his mind was then attuned 
to a pitch of reverence and devotion to the gods that it 
failed to attain when the sun was blazing down upon the 
marble floor, and the courts were alive with worshippers. 
Then strive as he would he could not enter as he wanted 
into the spirit of the scene. When he walked in the solemn 
procession carrying a sacred vessel or one of the sacred em 
blems, doubts whether there could be anything in common 
between the graven image and the god it represented would 
occur to him. 

He would wonder whether the god was really gratified by 
these processions, whether he felt any real pleasure in the 
carrying about of sacred vessels, emblems, and offerings of 
flowers. He was shocked at his own doubts, and did his 
best to banish them from his mind. At times it seemed to 
him that some heavy punishment must fall upon him for 
permitting himself to reason on matters so far beyond his 
comprehension, and he now rejoiced at what he before was 
inclined to regret, that his father had decided against his 
devoting his whole life to the service of the temple. 

Sometimes he thought of speaking to his father and con 
fessing to him that his mind was troubled with doubts, but 
the thought of the horror with which such a confession 
would be received deterred him from doing so. Even to 
Amuba he was silent on the subject, for Amuba he thought 
would not understand him. His friend believed firmly in 
the gods of his own country, but accepted the fact that the 
Egyptian deities were as powerful for good or evil to the 


Egyptians as were his own to the Eebu. And, indeed, the 
fact that the Egyptians were so great and powerful, and 
prevailed over other nations, was, he was inclined to think, 
due to the superior power of their gods. 

The majesty of the temples, the splendour of the proces 
sions, and the devoutness with which the people worshipped 
their gods, alike impressed him; and although the strange 
ness of the images struck him as singular, he was ready to 
admit that the gods might take any shape they pleased. 
Thus, then, Chebron could look for no sympathy from him, 
and shrank from opening his mind to him. Nevertheless 
he sometimes took Amuba with him in his visits to the 
temple. The doors at all times stood open, and any could 
enter who chose, and had they in the inner courts met with 
any of the priests, Amuba would have passed unnoticed as 
being one of the attendants of the temple in company with 

But few words were exchanged between the lads during 
these rambles, for the awful grandeur of the silent temple 
and its weird aspect in the moonlight, affected Amuba as 
strongly as it did Chebron. At times he wondered to him 
self whether if he ever returned home and were to introduce 
the worship of these terrible gods of Egypt, they would 
extend their protection to the Rebu. 

Near the house of Ameres stood that of Ptylus, a priest 
who occupied a position in the temple of Osiris, next in 
dignity to that of the high-priest. 

Between the two priests there was little cordiality, for they 
differed alike in disposition and manner of thought. Pty 
lus was narrow and bigotted in his religion, precise in every 
observance of ceremonial; austere and haughty in manner, 
professing to despise all learning beyond that relating to 
religion, but secretly devoured with jealousy at the esteem 
in which Ameres was held by the court, and his reputation 
as one of the first engineers, astronomers, and statesmen of 
Egypt. He had been one of the fiercest in the opposition 

RIVALS. 1 37 

raised to the innovations proposed by Ameres, and had at 
the time exerted himself to the utmost to excite such a feel 
ing against him as would render it necessary for him to 
resign his position in the temple. 

His disappointment had been intense, when owing in no 
slight degree to the influence of the king himself, who re 
garded Ameres with too much trust and affection to allow 
himself to be shaken in his confidence even by what he held 
to be the erroneous views of the high-priest of Osiris his 
intrigue came to nothing; but he had ever since kept an un 
ceasing watch upon the conduct of his colleague, without, 
however, being able to find the slightest pretence for com 
plaint against him. For Ameres was no visionary; and 
having failed in obtaining a favourable decision as to the 
views he entertained, he had not striven against the tide, 
knowing that by doing so he would only involve himself 
and his family in ruin and disgrace, without forwarding in 
the smallest degree the opinions he held. 

He was thus as exact as ever in his ministration in the 
temple, differing only from the other performers of the sacred 
rites inasmuch as while they offered their sacrifices to Osiris 
himself, he in his heart dedicated his offerings to the great 
God of whom Osiris was but a feeble type or image. 

A certain amount of intimacy was kept up between the 
two families. Although there was no more liking between 
the wives of the two priests than between their husbands, 
they were of similar dispositions both were fond of show 
and gaiety, both were ambitious; and although in society 
both exhibited to perfection the somewhat gentle and indo 
lent manner which was considered to mark high breeding 
among the women of Egypt, the slaves of both knew to 
their cost that in their own homes their bearing was very 

In their entertainments and feasts there was constant 
rivalry between them, although the wife of the high-priest 
considered it nothing short of insolence that the wife of one 


inferior to her husband's rank should venture to compete 
with her; while upon the other hand the little airs of calm 
superiority her rival assumed when visiting her excited the 
deepest indignation and bitterness in the heart of the wife of 
Ptylus. She, too, was aware of the enmity that her husband 
bore to Ameres, and di4 her best to second him by shaking 
her head and affecting an air of mystery whenever his name 
was mentioned, leaving her friends to suppose that did she 
choose she could tell terrible tales to his disadvantage. 

Ameres on his part had never alluded at home either to 
his views concerning religion or to his difference of opinion 
with his colleagues. There was but little in common be 
tween him and his wife. He allowed her liberty to do as 
she chose, to give frequent entertainments to her female 
friends, and to spend money as she liked so long as his own 
mode of life was not interfered with. He kept in his own 
hands, too, the regulation of the studies of Chebron and 

One day when he was in his study his wife entered. He 
looked up with an expression of remonstrance, for it was an 
understood thing that when occupied with his books he was 
on no account to be disturbed except upon business of im 

" You must not mind my disturbing you for once, Ameres; 
but an important thing has happened. Nicotis, the wife of 
Ptylus, has been here this afternoon, and what do you think 
she was the bearer of a proposal from her husband and her 
self that their son Plexo should marry our Mysa." 

Ameres uttered an exclamation of surprise and anger. 

" She is a child at present, the thing is ridiculous!" 

" Not so much of a child, Ameres, after all. She is nearer 
fifteen than fourteen, and betrothal often takes place a year 
earlier. I have been thinking for some time of talking the 
matter over with you, for it is fully time that we thought 
of her future." 

Ameres was silent. What his wife said was perfectly 


true, and Mysa had reached the age at which the Egyptian 
maidens were generally betrothed. It came upon him, how 
ever, as an unpleasant surprise. He had regarded Mysa 
as still a child, and his affections were centred in her and 
Chebron; for his eldest son, who resembled his mother in 
spirit, he had but little affection or sympathy. 

"Very well," he said at last in a tone of irritation very 
unusual to him, "if Mysa has reached the age when we 
must begin to think whom she is to marry, we will think of 
it, but there is no occasion whatever for haste. As to 
Plexo I have marked him often when he has been here 
with Chebron, and I do not like his disposition. He is 
arrogant and overbearing, and, at the same time, shallow 
and foolish. Such is not the kind of youth to whom I shall 
give Mysa." 

The answer did not quite satisfy his wife. She agreed 
with him in objecting to the proposed alliance, but on 
entirely different grounds. She had looked forward to 
Mysa making a brilliant match, which would add to her 
own consequence and standing. On ceremonial occasions, 
as the wife of the high-priest, and herself a priestess of 
Crisis, she was present at all the court banquets; but the 
abstemious tastes and habits of Ameres prevented her from 
taking the part she desired in other festivities, and she con 
sidered that were Mysa to marry some great general, or 
perhaps even one of the princes of the blood, she would 
then be able to take that position in society to which she 
aspired, and considered, indeed, that she ought to fill as the 
wife of Ameres, high-priest of Osiris, and one of the most 
trusted counsellors of the king. 

Such result would certainly not flow from Mysa's marriage 
to the son of one of less rank in the temple than her hus 
band, and far inferior in public estimation. Being content, 
however, that her husband objected to the match on other 
grounds she abstained from pressing her own view of the 
subject, being perfectly aware that it was one with which 


Ameres would by no means sympathize. She therefore 
only said: 

"I am glad that you object to the match, Ameres, and 
am quite in accord with you in your opinion of the son of 
Ptylus. But what reason shall I give Nicotis for declining 
the connection 1 ?" 

"The true one, of course!" Ameres said in surprise. 
"What other reason could there be? In respect to position 
no objection could arise, nor upon that of wealth. He is 
an only son, and although Ptylus may not have so large an 
income as myself (for I have had much state employment), 
he can certainly afford to place his son in at least as good 
a position as we can expect for Mysa. Were we to decline 
the proposal without giving a reason Ptylus would have 
good ground for offence. 

" I do not suppose, Amense, he will be pleased at fault 
being found with his son, but that we cannot help. Parents 
cannot expect others to see their offspring with the same 
eyes that they do. I should certainly feel no offence were 
I to propose for a wife for Chebron to receive as an answer 
that he lacked some of the virtues the parents required in a 
husband for their daughter. I might consider that Chebron 
had those virtues, but if they thought otherwise why should 
I be offended?" 

" It is not everyone who sees matters as you do, Ameres, 
and no one likes having his children slighted. Still, if it 
is your wish that I should tell Nicotis that you have a 
personal objection to her son, of course I will do so." 

" Do not put it in that light, Amense. It is not that I 
have a personal objection to him. I certainly do not like 
him, but that fact has nothing to do with my decision. 1 
might like him very much, and yet consider that he would 
not make Mysa a good husband; or, on the other hand, I 
might dislike him personally, and yet feel that I could 
safely entrust Mysa's happiness to him. You will say, then, 
to Nicotis that from what I have seen of Plexo, and from 


what I have learned of his character, it does not appear to 
me that a union between him and Mysa would be likely to 
conduce to her happiness ; and that, therefore, I decline 
altogether to enter into negotiations for the bringing about 
of such a marriage." 

Amense was well pleased, for she felt that this message, 
given in her husband's name, would be a great rebuff for 
her rival, and would far more than counterbalance the 
many triumphs she had gained over her by the recital of 
the number of banquets and entertainments in which she 
had taken part. 

Had Amense been present when Nicotis informed Ptylus 
of the refusal of their proposal for the hand of Mysa, she 
might have felt that even the satisfaction of mortifying 
a rival may be dearly purchased. 

" You know the woman, Ptylus, and can picture to your 
self the air of insolence with which she declined our proposal. 
I wished at the moment we had been peasants' wives instead 
of ladies of quality. I would have given her cause to regret 
her insolence for a long time. As it was, it was as much as 
I could do to restrain myself, and to smile and say that 
perhaps, after all, the young people were not as well suited 
for each other as could be wished; and that we had only 
yielded to the wishes of Plexo, having in our mind another 
alliance which would in every respect be more advantageous. 
Of course she replied that she was glad to hear it, but she 
could not but know that I was lying, for the lotus flower 
I was holding in my hand trembled with the rage that 
devoured me." 

"And it was, you say, against Plexo personally that the 
objection was made," Ptylus said gloomily. 

" So she seemed to say. Of course she would not tell me 
that she had set her mind on her daughter marrying one of 
the royal princes, though it is like enough that such is her 
thought, for the woman is pushing and ambitious enough 
for anything. She only said, in a formal sort of way, 


that while the alliance between the two families would 
naturally be most agreeable to them, her husband was 
of opinion that the dispositions of the young people were 
wholly dissimilar, and that he feared such a union would 
not be for the happiness of either; and that having perhaps 
peculiar ideas as to the necessity for husband and wife 
being of one mind in all matters, he thought it better that 
the idea should be abandoned. I had a mind to tell her 
that Ameres did not seem to have acted upon those ideas in 
his own case, for everyone knows that he and Amense have 
not a thought in common that she goes her way and he 
goes his." 

"Let them both beware!" Ptylus said. "They shall learn 
that we are not to be insulted with impunity. This Ameres, 
whom the people regard as so holy, is at heart a despiser 
of the gods. Had he not been a favourite of Thotmes he 
would ere now have been disgraced and degraded, and I 
should be high-priest in his place; for his son, Neco, is too 
young for such a dignity. But he is ascending in the scale, 
and every year that his father lives and holds office he will 
come more and more to be looked upon as his natural 
successor. A few more years and my chance will be 

"Then," Nicotis said decidedly, "Ameres must not hold 
office for many more years. We have talked the matter 
over and over again, and you have always promised me 
that some day I should be the wife of the high-priest, and 
that Plexo should stand first in the succession of the office. 
It is high time that you carried your promises into effect." 

" It is time, Nicotis. This man has too long insulted the 
gods by ministering at their services, when in his heart he 
was false to them. It shall be so no longer; this last in 
sult to us decides me! Had he agreed to our proposal I 
would have laid aside my own claims, and with my influence 
could have secured that Plexo, as his son-in-law, should 
succeed, rather than that shallow-brained fool, Neco. He 


has refused the offer, and he must bear the consequences. I 
have been too patient. I will be so no longer, but will act. 
I have a strong party among the upper priesthood who 
have long been of my opinion that Ameres is a disgrace to 
our caste and a danger to our religion. They will join me 
heart and soul, for they feel with me that his position as 
high-priest is an outrage to the gods. Ask me no questions, 
Nicotis, but be assured that my promises shall be kept. I 
will be high-priest; Plexo shall marry this child he fancies, 
for his doing so will not only strengthen my position but 
render his own succession secure, by silencing those who 
might at my death seek to bring back the succession to 

" That is well, Ptylus. I have long wondered that you 
were content to be lorded over by Ameres. If I can aid 
you in any way be sure that I will do so. By the way, 
Amense invited us to a banquet she is about to give next 
week. Shall we accept the invitation?" 

"Certainly. We must not show that we are in any way 
offended at what has passed. As far as Ameres himself is 
concerned it matters not, for the man has so good an 
opinion of himself that nothing could persuade him that 
he has enemies ; but it would not do in view of what I have 
resolved upon that any other should entertain the slightest 
suspicion that there exists any ill-feeling between us." 

Great preparations were made by Amense for the banquet 
on the following week^for she had resolved that this should 
completely eclipse the entertainments of Nicotis. Ameres 
had, as usual, left everything in her hands, and she spared 
no expense. For a day or two previous large supplies of 
food arrived from the country farm, and from the markets 
in the city; and early on the morning of the entertainment 
a host of professional cooks arrived to prepare the dinner. 
The head cooks superintended their labours. The meat 
consisted of beef and goose, ibex, gazelle, and oryx; for 
although large flocks of sheep were kept for their wool the 


flesh was not eaten by the Egyptians. There were, besides, 
great numbers of ducks, quails, and other small fowl. The 
chief cooks superintended the cutting up of the meat, and 
the selection of the different joints for boiling or roasting. 
One servant worked with his feet a bellows, raising the fire 
to the required heat; another skimmed the boiling caul 
drons with a spoon; and a third pounded salt, pepper, and 
other ingredients in a large mortar. Bakers and confec 
tioners made light bread and pastry; the former being 
made in the form of rolls, sprinkled at the top with carra- 
way and other seeds. The confectionery was made of fruit 
and other ingredients mixed with dough, and this was 
formed by a skillful workman into various artistic shapes, 
such as recumbent oxen, vases, temples, and other forms. 
Besides the meats there was an abundance of all the most 
delicate kinds of fish. 

When the hour of noon approached Ameres and Amense 
took their seats on two chairs at the upper end of the 
chief apartment, and as the guests arrived each came up to 
them to receive their welcome. When all had arrived the 
women took their places on chairs at the one side of the 
hall, the men on the other. Then servants brought in 
tables, piled up with dishes containing the viands, and in 
some cases filled with fruits and decorated with flowers, 
and ranged them down the centre of the room. 

Cups of wine were then handed round to the guests, lotus 
flowers presented to them to hold in their hands, and gar 
lands of flowers placed round their necks. Stands, each 
containing a number of jars of wine, stoppered with heads 
of wheat and decked with garlands, were ranged about the 
room. Many small tables were now brought in, and round 
these the guests took their seats upon low stools and chairs 
the women occupying those on one side of the room, the 
men those on the other. 

The servants now placed the dishes on the small tables, 
male attendants waiting on the men, while the women were 


served by females. Egyptians were unacquainted with the 
use of knives and forks, the joints being cut up by the 
attendants into small pieces, and the guests helping them 
selves from the dishes with the aid of pieces of bread held 
between the fingers. Vegetables formed a large part of the 
meal, the meats being mixed with them to serve as flavour 
ing; for in so hot a climate a vegetable diet is far more 
healthy than one composed principally of meat. While the 
meal was proceeding a party of female musicians, seated 
on the ground in one corner of the room, played and 

The banquet lasted for a long time, the number of dishes 
served being very large. When it was half over the figure of 
a mummy, of about three feet in length, was brought round 
and presented to each guest in succession, as a reminder of 
the uncertainty of existence. But as all present were accus 
tomed to this ceremony it had but little effect, and the 
sound of conversation and laughter, although checked for a 
moment, broke out again as soon as the figure was removed. 
Wine of many kinds was served during the dinner, the 
women as well as the men partaking of it. 

When all was concluded servants brought round golden 
basins with perfumed water and napkins, and the guests 
removed from their fingers the gravy that even with the dain 
tiest care in feeding could not be altogether escaped. Then 
the small tables and stools were removed, and the guests 
took their places on the chairs along the sides of the room. 
Then parties of male and female dancers by turn came in 
and performed. Female acrobats and tumblers then entered, 
and went through a variety of performances, and jugglers 
showed feats of dexterity with balls, and other tricks; while 
the musicians of various nationalities played in turns upon 
the instruments in use in their own countries. All this 
time the attendants moved about among the guests, serving 
them with wine and keeping them supplied with fresh 
flowers. A bard recited an ode in honour of the glories of 

(481) K. 


King Thotmes, and it was not until late in the evening that 
the entertainment came to an end. 

"It has gone off splendidly," Amense said to Ameres 
when all was over, and the last guest had been helped away 
by his servants; for there were many who were unable to 
walk steadily unaided. "Nothing could have been better 
it will be the talk of the whole town; and I could see 
Nicotis was devoured by envy and vexation. I do think 
great credit is due to me, Ameres, for you have really done 
nothing towards the preparations." 

"I am perfectly willing that you should have all the 
credit, Amense," Ameres said wearily, "and I am glad that 
you are satisfied. To me the whole thing is tedious and 
tiresome to a degree. All this superabundance of food, this 
too lavish use of wine, and the postures and antics of the 
actors and dancers, is simply disgusting. However, if every 
one else was pleased, of course I am content." 

"You are the most unsatisfactory husband a woman ever 
had," Amense said angrily. "I do believe you would be 
perfectly happy shut up in your study with your rolls of 
manuscript all your life, without seeing another human 
being save a black slave to bring you in bread and fruit and 
water twice a day." 

" I think I should, my dear," Ameres replied calmly. "At 
any rate I should prefer it vastly to such a waste of time, 
and that in a form to me so disagreeable, as that I have had 
to endure to-day." 




IT was some days later that Chebron and Amuba again 
paid a visit to the temple by moonlight. It was well- 
nigh a month since they had been there; for, save when 
the moon was up, the darkness and gloom of the courts, 
lighted only by the lamps of the altars, was so great that 
the place offered no attractions. Amuba, free from the 
superstitions which influenced his companion, would have 
gone with him had he proposed it, although he too felt the 
influence of the darkness, and the dim weird figures of the 
gods, seen but faintly by the lights that burned at their 
feet. But to Chebron, more imaginative and easily affected, 
there was something absolutely terrible in the gloomy dark 
ness, and nothing would have induced him to wander in the 
silent courts save when the moon threw her light upon 

On entering one of the inner courts they found a massive 
door in the wall standing ajar. 

"Where does this lead to?" Amuba asked. 

" I do not know. I have never seen it open before. I 
think it must have been left unclosed by accident. We will 
see where it leads to." 

Opening it they saw in front of them a flight of stairs in 
the thickness of the walL 

"It leads up to the roof," Chebron said in surprise. "I 
knew not there were any stairs to the roof, for when repairs 
are needed the workmen mount by ladders." 

"Let us go up, Chebron; it will be curious to look down 
upon the courts." 

"Yes, but we must be careful, Amuba; for, did any below 
catch sight of us, they might spread an alarm." 


"We need only stay there a minute or two," Amuba 
urged. " There are so few about that we are not likely to 
be seen, for if we walk noiselessly none are likely to cast 
their eyes so far upwards." 

So saying Amuba led the way up the stairs, and Chebron 
somewhat reluctantly followed him. They felt their way as 
they went, and after mounting for a considerable distance 
found that the stairs ended in a narrow passage, at the 
end of which was an opening scarce three feet high and 
just wide enough for a man to pass through. This evi 
dently opened into the outer air, as sufficient light passed 
through to enable them to see where they were standing. 
Amuba crept out through the opening at the end. Beyond 
was a ledge a foot wide; beyond that rose a dome some six 
feet high and eight or ten feet along the ledge. 

"Come on, Chebron; there is plenty of room for both of 
us," he said, looking backwards. Chebron at once joined 

"Where can we be?" Amuba asked. "There is the sky 
overhead. We are twenty feet from the top of the wall, 
and where this ledge ends, just before it gets to the sides 
of this stone, it seems to go straight down." 

Chebron looked round him. 

"This must be the head of one of the statues," he said 
after a pause. "What a curious place! I wonder what it 
can have been made for. See, there is a hole here ! " 

Just in front of them was an opening of some six inches 
in diameter in the stone. 

Amuba pushed his hand down. 

"It seems to go a long way down," he said; "but it is 
narrowing," and removing his arm he looked down the 

"There is an opening at the other end," he said; "a small 
narrow slit It must have been made to enable anyone 
standing here to see down, though I don't think they could sec 
much through so small a hole. I should think, Chebron, if 


this is really the top of the head of one of the great figures, 
that slit must be where his lips are. Don't you think so?" 

Chebron agreed that this was probable. 

"In that case," Amuba went on, "I should say that this 
hole must be made to allow the priests to give answers 
through the mouth of the image to supplications made to it. 
I have heard that the images sometimes gave answers to the 
worshippers. Perhaps this is the secret of it." 

Chebron was silent. The idea was a painful one to him; 
for if this were so, it was evident that trickery was practised. 

"I think we had better go," he said at last. "We have 
done wrong in coming up here." 

" Let me peep over the side first," Amuba said. " It seems 
to me that I can hear voices below." 

But the projection of the head prevented his seeing any 
thing beyond. Eeturning he put his foot in the hole and 
raised himself sufficiently to get on the top of the stone, 
which was here so much flattened that there was no risk of 
falling off. Leaning forward he looked over the edge. As 
Amuba had guessed would be the case, he found himself 
on the head of the principal idol in the temple. Gathered 
round the altar at its foot were seven or eight men, all of 
whom he knew by the whiteness of their garments to be 
priests. Listening intently he could distinctly hear their 
words. After waiting a minute he crawled back. 

"Come up here, Chebron ; there is something important 
going on." 

Chebron joined him, and the two, lying close together, 
looked down at the court. 

" I tell you we must do away with him," one of the group 
below said in tones louder than had been hitherto used. 
"You know as well as I do that his heart is not in the 
worship of the gods. He has already shown himself desir 
ous of all sorts of innovations, and unless we take matters 
in our hands there is no saying to what lengths he may 
go. He might shatter the very worship of the gods. It is 


no use to try to overthrow him openly; for he has the sup 
port of the king, and the efforts that have been made have 
not in any way shaken his position. Therefore he must die. 
It will be easy to put him out of the way. There are plenty 
of small chambers and recesses which he might be induced 
to enter on some pretext or other, and then be slain without 
difficulty, and his body ta"ken away by night and thrown 
into some of the disused catacombs. 

" It would be a nine days' wonder when he was missed, 
but no one could ever learn the truth of his disappearance. 
I am ready to kill him with my own hands, and should 
regard the deed as one most pleasing to the gods. There 
fore if you are ready to undertake the other arrangements, 
and two of you will join me in seeing that the deed is carried 
out without noise or outcry, I will take the matter in hand. 
I hate him, with his airs of holiness and his pretended love 
for the people. Besides, the good of our religion requires 
that he shall die." 

There was a chorus of approbation from the others. 

" Leave me to determine the time and place," the speaker 
went on, "and the excuse on which we will lead him to 
his doom. Those who will not be actually engaged with 
me in the business must be in the precincts of the place, 
and see that no one comes that way, and make some ex 
cuse or other should a cry by chance be heard, and must 
afterwards set on foot all sorts of rumours to account for 
his actions. We can settle nothing to-night; but there is 
no occasion for haste, and on the third night hence we will 
again gather here." 

Chebron touched Amuba, and the two crept back to 
where they had been standing on the ledge. 

" The villains are planning a murder in the very temple !" 
Chebron said. "I will give them a fright;" and applying 
his mouth to the orifice he cried : 

" Beware, sacriligious wretches ! Your plots shall fail and 
ruin fall upon you!" 


"Come on, Chebron!" Amuba exclaimed, pulling his gar 
ment. " Some of the fellows may know the secret of this 
statue, and in that case they will kill us without mercy if 
they find us here." 

Passing through the opening they groped their way to 
the top of the stairs, hurried down these as fast as they 
could in the darkness, and issued out from the door. 

"I hear footsteps!" Amuba exclaimed as they did so. 
"Kun for your life, Chebron!" 

Just as they left the court they heard the noise of angry 
voices, and hurried footsteps close by. At full speed they 
ran through several courts and apartments. 

"We had better hide, Amuba," 

" It will be no use trying to do that. They will guard the 
entrance-gates, give the alarm, and set all the priests on duty 
in the temple in search. No, come along quickly. They can 
not be sure that it is we who spoke to them, and will probably 
wait until one has ascended the stair to see that no one is 
lurking there. I think we are safe for the moment; but 
there are no good hiding-places. I think you had better 
walk straight to the entrance, Chebron. Your presence here 
is natural enough, and those they post at the gates would 
let you pass out without suspicion. I will try and find 
myself a hiding-place." 

" I certainly will not do that, Amuba. I am not going 
to run away and leave you in the scrape, especially as it 
was I who got us into it by my rashness." 

" Is there any place where workmen are engaged on the 
walls'?" Amuba asked suddenly. 

"Yes, in the third court on the right after entering," 
Chebron replied. " They are repainting the figures on the 
upper part of the wall. I was watching them at work 

" Then in that case there must be some ladders. With 
them we might get away safely. Let us make for the court 
at once, but tread noiselessly, and if you hear a footstep 


approaching hide in the shadow behind the statue. Listen ! 
they are giving the alarm. They know that their number 
would be altogether insufficient to search this great temple 

Shouts were indeed heard, and the lads pressed on towards 
the court Chebron had spoken of. The temple now was 
echoing with sounds, for the priests on duty, who had been 
asleep as usual when not engaged in attending to the lights, 
had now been roused by one of their number, who ran in 
and told them some sacrilegious persons had made their 
way into the temple. 

" Here is the place," Chebron said, stopping at the foot 
of the wall 

Here two or three long light ladders were standing. 
Some of these reached part of the distance only up the 
walls, but the top of one could be seen against the sky 

" Mount, Chebron ! There is no time to lose. They may 
be here at any moment." 

Chebron mounted, followed closely by his companion. 
Just as he gained the top of the wall several men carrying 
torches ran into the court and began to search along the 
side lying in shadow. Just as Amuba joined Chebron one 
of the searchers caught sight of them, and with a shout ran 
towards the ladder. 

"Pull, Chebron!" Amuba exclaimed as he tried to haul 
up the ladder. 

Chebron at once assisted him, and the foot of the ladder 
was already many feet above the ground before the men 
reached it. The height of the wall was some fifty feet, and 
light as was the construction of the ladder it was as much 
as the lads could do to pull it up to the top. The wall was 
fully twelve feet in thickness, and as soon as the ladder was 
up Amuba said : 

"Keep away from the edge, Chebron, or it is possible 
that in this bright moonlight we may be recognized. We 


must be going on at once. They will tie the short ladders 
together and be after us directly." 

" Which way shall we go 1 ?" 

" Towards the outer wall, as far as possible from the gate. 
Bring the ladder along." 

Taking it upon their shoulders they hurried along. Critical 
as the position was, Amuba could not help remarking on 
the singularity of the scene. The massive walls were all 
topped with white cement and stretched like broad ribbons, 
crossing and recrossing each other in regular parallelograms 
on a black ground. 

Five minutes' running took them to the outer wall, and 
the ladder was again lowered and they descended, and then 
stood at its foot for a moment to listen. Everything was 
still and silent. 

" It is lucky they did not think of sending men to watch 
outside the walls when they first caught sight of us, or we 
should have been captured. I expect they thought of 
nothing but getting down the other ladders and fastening 
them together. Let us make straight out and get well 
away from the temple, and then we will return to your 
house at our leisure. We had better get out of sight if we 
can before our pursuers find the top of the ladder, then as 
they will have no idea in which direction we have gone 
they will give up the chase." 

After an hour's walking they reached home. On the way 
they had discussed whether or not Chebron should tell 
Ameres what had taken place, and had agreed that it would 
be best to be silent. 

"Your father would not like to know that you have 
discovered the secret of the image, Chebron. If it was not 
for that I should say you had best have told him. But I 
do not see that it would do any good now. We do not 
know who the men were who were plotting or whom they 
were plotting against. But one thing is pretty certain, the} 
will not try to carry out their plans now, for they cannot 


tell how much of their conversation was overheard, and 
their fear of discovery will put an end for the present to 
this scheme of theirs." 

Chebron agreed with Amuba's views, and it was decided 
to say nothing about the affair unless circumstances occurred 
which might alter their intentions. They entered the house 
quietly and reached their apartment without disturbing any 
of the inmates. 

On the following morning one of the priests of the temple 
arrived at an early hour and demanded to see Ameres. 

"I have evil tidings to give you, my lord," he said. 
"Your son Neco has this morning been killed." 

"Neco killed 1" Ameres repeated. 

"It is, alas, but too true, my lord! He left the house 
where he lives with two other priests but a short distance 
from the gate of the temple at his usual. It was his turn to 
offer the sacrifices at dawn, and it must have been still dark 
when he left the house. As he did not arrive at the proper 
time a messenger was sent to fetch him, and he found him 
lying dead but a few paces from his own door, stabbed to 
the heart." 

Ameres waved his hand to signify that he would be alone, 
and sat down half stunned by the sudden shock. 

Between himself and his eldest son there was no great 
affection. Neco was of a cold and formal disposition, and 
although Ameres would in his own house have gladly re 
laxed in his case, as he had done in that of Chebron, the 
rigid respect and deference demanded by Egyptian custom 
on the part of sons towards their father, Neco had never 
responded to his advances and had been punctilious in all 
the observances practised at the time. Except when abso 
lutely commanded to do so. he had never taken a seat in 
his father's presence, had never addressed him unless 
spoken to, had made his appearance only at stated times 
to pay his respects to him, and when dismissed had gladly 
hurried away to the priest who acted as his tutor. 


As he grew up the gap had widened instead of closing. 
Ameres saw with regret that his mind was narrow and his 
understanding shallow, that in matters of religion he was 
bigoted; while at the same time he perceived that his ex 
treme zeal in the services of the temple, his absorption in 
ceremonial observances of all kinds, were due in no slight 
degree to ambition, and that he was endeavouring to obtain 
reputation for distinguished piety with a view to succeeding 
some day to the office of high-priest. He guessed that the 
eagerness with which Neco embraced the first opportunity 
of withdrawing himself from his home and joining two 
other young priests in their establishment was due to a 
desire to disassociate himself from his father, and thus to 
make an unspoken protest against the latitude of opinion 
that had raised up a party hostile to Ameres. 

Although living so close it was very seldom that he had, 
after once leaving the house, again entered it; generally 
choosing a time when his father was absent and so paying 
his visits only to his mother. Still the news of his sudden 
death was a great shock, and Ameres sat without moving 
for some minutes until a sudden outburst of cries in the 
house betokened that the messenger had told his tidings 
to the servants, and that these had carried them to their 
mistress. Ameres at once went to his wife's apartment and 
endeavoured to console her, but wholly without success. 

Amense was frantic with grief. Although herself much 
addicted to the pleasures of the world she had the highest 
respect for religion, and the ardour of Neco in the dis 
charge of his religious duties had been a source of pride 
and gratification to her. Not only was it pleasant to hear 
her son spoken of as one of the most rising of the young 
priesthood, but she saw that he would make his way 
rapidly and would ere long become the recognized suc 
cessor to his father's office. Chebron and Mysa bore the 
news of their brother's death with much more resignation. 
For the last three years they had scarcely seen him, and 


even when living at home there had been nothing in com 
mon between him and them. They were indeed more awed 
by the suddenness of his death than grieved at his loss. 

When he left them Arneres went at once to the house of 
Neco to make further inquiries into the matter. There 
he could learn nothing that could afford any clue. Neco 
had been late at the temple and had not returned until 
long after the rest of the household were in bed, and none 
had seen him before he left in the morning. No sound of 
a struggle or cry for help had been heard. His death had 
apparently been instantaneous. He had been stabbed in 
the back by someone who had probably been lurking close 
to the door awaiting his coming out. 

The general opinion there and in the temple was that he 
must have fallen a victim to a feeling of revenge on the part 
of some attendant in the building who on his report had 
undergone disgrace and punishment for some fault of care 
lessness or inattention in the services or in the care of the 
sacred animals. As a score of attendants had at one time 
or other been so reported by Neco, for he was constantly on 
the look-out for small irregularities, it was impossible to fix 
the crime on one more than another. 

The magistrates, who arrived soon after Ameres to inves 
tigate the matter, called the whole of those who could be 
suspected of harbouring ill-will against Neco to be brought 
before them, and questioned as to their doings during the 
night. All stoutly asserted that they had been in bed at 
the time of the murder, and nothing occurred to throw a 
suspicion upon one more than another. As soon as the 
investigation was concluded Ameres ordered the corpse to 
be brought to his own house. 

Covered by white cloths it was placed on a sort of sledge. 
This was drawn by six of the attendants of the temple; 
Ameres and Chebron followed behind, and after them came 
a procession of priests. When it arrived at the house, 
Amense and Mysa, with their hair unbound and falling 



around them, received the body, uttering loud cries of 
lamentations, in which they were joined by all the women 
of the house. It was carried into an inner apartment, 
and there until evening a loud wailing was kept up, many 
female relatives and friends coming in and joining in the 
outcry. Late in the evening the body was taken out, placed 
upon another sledge, and, followed by the male relatives 
and friends and by all the attendants and slaves of the 
house, was carried to the establishment of Chigron the 
embalmer. During the forty days occupied by the process 
the strictest mourning was observed in the house. No meat 
or wheaten bread was eaten, nor wine served at the table 
even the luxury of the bath was abandoned. All the males 
shaved their eyebrows, and sounds of loud lamentation on 
the part of the women echoed through the house. 

At the end of that time the mummy was brought 
back in great state, and placed in the room which was 
in all large Egyptian houses set apart for the reception 
of the dead. The mummy-case was placed upright against 
the wall. Here sacrifices similar to those offered at the 
temple were made. Ameres himself and a number of the 
priests of the rank of those decorated with leopard skins 
took part in the services. Incense and libation were offered. 
Amense and Mysa were present at the ceremony, and wailed 
with their hair in disorder over their shoulders and dust 
sprinkled on their heads. Oil was poured over the head of 
the mummy, and after the ceremony was over Amense and 
Mysa embraced the mummied body, bathing its feet with 
their tears and uttering expressions of grief and praises of 
the deceased. 

In the evening a feast was held in honour of the dead. 
On this occasion the signs of grief were laid aside, and the 
joyful aspect of the departure of the dead to a happy exist 
ence prevailed. A large number of friends and relations 
were present. The guests were annointed and decked with 
flowers, as was usual at these parties, and after the meal the 


mummy was drawn through the room in token that his 
spirit was still present among them. Amense would fain 
have kept the mummy for some time in the house as was 
often the practice, but Ameres preferred that the funeral 
should take place at once. 

Three days later the procession assembled and started 
from the house. First came servants bearing tables laden 
with fruit, cakes, flowers, vases of ointment, wine, some 
young geese in a crate for sacrifice, chairs, wooden tables, 
napkins, and other things. Then came others carrying 
small closets containing the images of the gods; they 
also carried daggers, bows, sandals, and fans, and each 
bore a napkin upon his shoulder. Then came a table with 
offerings and a chariot drawn by a pair of horses, the 
charioteer driving them as he walked behind the chariot. 
Then came the bearers of a sacred boat and the mysterious 
eye of Horus, the god of stability. Others carried small 
images of blue pottery representing the deceased under the 
form of Osiris, and the bird emblematic of the soul. Then 
eight women of the class of paid mourners came along beat 
ing their breasts, throwing dust upon their heads, and 
uttering loud lamentations. Ameres, clad in a leopard 
skin, and having in his hands the censer and vase of liba 
tion, accompanied by his attendants bearing the various im 
plements used in the services, and followed by a number of 
priests also clad in leopard skins, now came along. Imme 
diately behind them followed the consecrated boat placed 
upon a sledge, and containing the mummy-case in a large 
exterior case covered with paintings. It was drawn by four 
oxen and seven men. In the boat Amense and Mysa were 
seated. The sledge was decked with flowers, and was 
followed by Chebron and other relatives and friends of the 
deceased, beating their breasts and lamenting loudly. 

When they arrived at the sacred lake, which was a large 
piece of artificial water, the coffin was taken from the small 
boat in which it had been conveyed and placed in the baris 


or consecrated boat of the dead. This was a gorgeously- 
painted boat with a lofty cabin. Amense, Mysa, and Cheb- 
ron took their places here. It was towed by a large boat 
with sails and oars. The members of the procession then 
took their places in other richly-decorated sailing boats, and 
all crossed the lake together. The procession was then re 
formed and went in the same order to the tomb. Here 
the mummy-case was placed on the slab prepared for it, 
and a sacrifice and libation with incense offered. The door 
of the tomb was then closed, but not fastened, as sacrificial 
services would be held there periodically for many years. 
The procession then returned on foot to the house. 

During all this time no certain clue had been obtained 
as to the authors of the murder. Upon going up to the 
temple on the day of Neco's death Chebron found all sorts 
of rumours current. The affair of the previous night 
had been greatly magnified, and it was generally believed 
that a strong party of men had entered the temple with the 
intention of carrying off the sacred vessels, but that they 
had been disturbed just as they were going to break into the 
subterranean apartments where these were kept, and had 
then fled to the ladders and escaped over the wall before a 
sufficient force could be collected to detain them. It was 
generally supposed that this affair was in some way con 
nected with the death of Neco. Upon Chebron's return 
with this news he and Amuba agreed that it was necessary 
to inform Ameres at once of their doings on the previous 
night. After the evening meal was over Ameres called 
Chebron into his study. 

" Have you heard aught in the temple, Chebron, as to this 
strange affair that took place there last night? I cannot see 
how it can have any connection with your brother's death; 
still, it is strange. Have you heard who first discovered 
these thieves last night? Some say that it was Ptylus, 
though what he should be doing there at that hour I know 
not. Four or five others are named by priests as having 


aroused them ; but curiously not one of these is in the temple 
to-day. I have received a letter from Ptylus saying that he 
has been suddenly called to visit some relations living on 
the sea-shore near the mouths of the Nile. The others sent 
similar excuses. I have sent to their houses, but all appear 
to have left at an early hour this morning. This is most 
strange, for none notified to me yesterday that they had 
occasion to be absent. What can be their motive in thus 
running away when naturally they would obtain praise and 
honour for having saved the vessels of the temple? Have 
you heard anything that would seem to throw any light 
upon the subject?" 

"I have heard nothing, father; but I can tell you much. 
I should have spoken to you the first thing this morning had 
it not been for the news about Neco." Chebron then related 
to Ameres how he and Amuba had the night before visited 
the temple, ascended the stair behind the image of the god, 
and overheard a plot to murder some unknown person. 

"This is an extraordinary tale, Chebron," Ameres said 
when he had brought his story to a conclusion. " You 
certainly would have been slain had you been overtaken. 
How the door that led to the staircase came to be open I 
cannot imagine. The place is only used on very rare occa 
sions, when it is deemed absolutely necessary that we should 
influence in one direction or another the course of events. 
I can only suppose that when last used, which is now some 
months since, the door must have been carelessly fastened, 
and that it only now opened of itself. Still, that is a minor 
matter, and it is fortunate that it is you who made the 
discovery. As to this conspiracy you say you overheard, 
it is much more serious. To my mind the sudden absence 
of Ptylus and the others would seem to show that they were 
conscious of guilt 

"Their presence in the temple so late was in itself singu 
lar; and, as you say, they cannot know how much of their 
conversation was overheard. Against whom their plot was 


directed I can form no idea; though, doubtless, it was a 
personage of high importance." 

" You do not think, father," Chebron said hesitatingly, 
" that the plot could have been to murder Neco. This is 
what Amuba and I thought when we talked it over this 

" I do not think so," Ameres said after a pause. " It is 
hardly likely that four or five persons would plot together 
to carry out the murder of one in his position; it must be 
someone of far greater importance. Neco may not have 
been liked, but he was certainly held in esteem by all the 
priests in the temple." 

" You see, father," Chebron said, " that Ptylus is an ambi 
tious man, and may have hoped at some time or other to 
become high-priest. Neco would have stood in his way, for, 
as the office is hereditary, if the eldest son is fitted to under 
take it, Neco would almost certainly be selected." 

"That is true, Chebron, but I have no reason to credit 
Ptylus with such wickedness; besides, he would hardly take 
other people into his confidence did he entertain such a 
scheme. Moreover, knowing that they were overheard last 
night, although they cannot tell how much may have been 
gathered by the listener, they would assuredly not have 
carried the plan into execution; besides which, as you say, 
no plan was arrived at, and after the whole temple was dis 
turbed they would hardly have met afterwards and arranged 
this fresh scheme of murder. No. If Neco was killed by 
them, it must have been that they suspected that he was one 
of those who overheard them. His figure is not unlike yours. 
They may probably have obtained a glimpse of you on the 
walls, and have noticed your priest's attire. He was in the 
temple late, and probably left just before you were discovered. 
Believing, then, that they were overheard, and thinking 
that one of the listeners was Neco, they decided for their 
own safety to remove him. Of course it is mere assumption 
that Ptylus was one of those you overheard last night. His 

(481) L 


absence to-day is the only thing we have against him, and 
that alone is wholly insufficient to enable us to move in the 
matter. The whole affair is a terrible mystery; be assured 
I will do my best to unravel it. At present, in any case, 
we can do nothing. Ptylus and the four priests who are 
absent will doubtless return when they find that no accusa 
tion is laid against them. They will suppose that the other 
person who overheard them, whoever he was, is either afraid 
to come forward, or perhaps heard only a few words and is 
ignorant of the identity of the speakers. Indeed, he would 
be a bold man who would venture to prefer so terrible an 
accusation against five of the priests of the temple. I do 
not blame you in the matter, for you could not have fore 
seen the events that have happened. It was the will of the 
gods that you should have learned what you have learned; 
perhaps they intend some day that you shall be their instru 
ment for bringing the guilty to justice. As to the conspiracy, 
no doubt, as you say, the plot, against whomsoever it was 
directed, will be abandoned, for they will never be sure as 
to how much is known of what passed between them, and 
whether those who overheard them may not be waiting for 
the commission of the crown to denounce them. In the 
meantime you will on no account renew your visit to the 
temple or enter it at any time, except when called upon to 
do so by your duties." 

The very day after Neco's funeral Mysa and her mother 
were thrown into a flutter of excitement by a message which 
arrived from Bubastes. Some months before the sacred cat of 
the great temple there a cat held in as high honour in Lower 
Egypt as the bull Apis in the Thebaid had fallen sick, and, 
in spite of the care and attendance lavished upon it, had 
died. The task of finding its successor was an important 
and arduous one, and, like the bull of Apis, it was neces 
sary not only that the cat should be distinguished for its 
size and beauty, but that it should bear certain markings. 
Without these particular markings no cat could be elevated 


to the sacred post, even if it remained vacant for years; 
therefore, as soon as the cat was dead a party of priests set 
out from Bubastes to visit all the cities of Egypt in search 
of its successor. 

The whole country was agitated with the question of the 
sacred cat, and at each town they visited lists were brought 
to the priests of all the cats which, from size, shape, and 
colour, could be considered as candidates for the office. As 
soon as one of the parties of the priests had reached Thebes 
Amense had sent to them a description of Mysa's great cat 
Faucis. Hitherto, Amense had evinced no interest what 
ever in her daughter's pets, seldom going out into the garden, 
except to sit under the shade of the trees near the fountain 
for a short time in the afternoon when the sun had lost its 

In Faucis, indeed, she had taken some slight interest; 
because, in the first place, it was only becoming that the 
mistress of the house should busy herself as to the welfare 
of animals deemed so sacred; and in the second, because all 
who saw Faucis agreed that it was remarkable alike in size 
and beauty, and the presence of such a creature in the house 
was in itself a source of pride and dignity. Thus then she 
lost no time in sending a message to the priests inviting 
them to call and visit her and inspect the cat. Although, as 
a rule, the competitors for the post of sacred cat of 
Bubastes were brought in baskets by their owners for in 
spection, the priests were willing enough to pay a visit 
in person to the wife of so important a man as the high- 
priest of Osiris. 

Amense received them with much honour, presented Mysa 
to them as the owner of the cat, and herself accompanied 
the priests in their visit to the home of Mysa's pets. Their 
report was most favourable. They had, since they left 
Bubastes, seen no cat approaching Faucis in size and beauty, 
and although her markings were not precisely correct they 
yet approximated very closely to the standard. They could 


say no more than this, because the decision could not be 
made until the return of all the parties of searchers to 
Bubastes. Their reports would then be compared, and unless 
any one animal appeared exactly to suit all requirements, a 
visit would be made by the high-priest of the temple him 
self to three or four of the cats most highly reported upon. 
If he found one of them worthy of the honour, it would be 
selected for the vacant position. 

If none of them came up to the lofty standard the post 
would remain unfilled for a year or two, when it might be 
hoped that among the rising generation of cats a worthy 
successor to the departed one might be found. For them 
selves they must continue their search in Thebes and its 
neighbourhood, as all claimants must be examined; but 
they assured Amense that they thought it most improbable 
that a cat equal to Faucis would be found. 

Some months had passed, and it was not until a week 
after the funeral of Neco that a message arrived, saying 
that the report concerning Faucis by the priests who had 
visited Thebes was so much more favourable than that 
given by any of the other searchers of the animals they 
had seen, that it had been decided by the high-priest that 
it alone was worthy of the honour. 

The messenger stated that in the course of a fortnight a 
deputation consisting of the high-priest and several leading 
functionaries of the temple, with a retinue of the lower 
clergy and attendants, would set out from Bubastes by 
water in order to receive the sacred cat, and to conduct her 
with all due ceremony to the shrine of Bubastes. Mysa 
was delighted at the honour which had befallen her cat. 
Privately she was less fond of Faucis than of some of the 
less stately cats; for Faucis, from the time it grew up, had 
none of the playfulness of the tribe, but deported itself with 
a placid dignity which would do honour to its new position, 
but which rendered it less amusing to Mysa than its 
humbler but more active companions. 


Amense was vastly gratified at the news. It was con 
sidered the highest honour that could befall an Egyptian 
for one of his animals to be chosen to fill the chief post in 
one of the temples, and next in dignity to Apis himself 
was the sacred cat of the great goddess known as Baste, 
Bubastes, or Pasht. 

As soon as the news was known, all the friends and 
acquaintances of the family flocked in to offer their con 
gratulations; and so many visits were paid to Mysa's in- 
closure that even the tranquility of Paucis was disturbed 
by the succession of admirers, and Amense, declaring that 
she felt herself responsible for the animal being in perfect 
health when the priests arrived for it, permitted only the 
callers, whom she particularly desired to honour, to pay a 
visit of inspection to it. 



FOR several days, upon paying their morning visit to the 
birds and other pets in the inclosure in the garden, 
Chebron and Mysa had observed an unusual timidity among 
them. The wild fowl, instead of advancing to meet them 
with demonstrations of welcome, remained close among the 
reeds, and even the ibis did not respond at once to their call. 
" They must have been alarmed at something," Chebron 
said the third morning. "Some bird of prey must have 
been swooping down upon them. See here, there are several 
feathers scattered about, and some of them are stained with 
blood. Look at that pretty drake that was brought to us 
by the merchants in trade with the far East. Its mate is 
missing. It may be a hawk or some creature of the weasel 


tribe. At any rate we must try to put a stop to it. This is 
the third morning that we have noticed the change in the 
behaviour of the birds. Doubtless three of them have been 
carried off. Amuba and I will watch to-morrow with our 
bows and arrows and see if we cannot put an end to the 
marauder. If this goes on we shall lose all our pets." 

Upon the following morning Chebron and Amuba went 
down to the inclosure soon after daybreak, and concealing 
themselves in some shrubs waited for the appearance of the 
intruder. The ducks were splashing about in the pond, 
evidently forgetful of their fright of the day before ; and as 
soon as the sun was up the dogs came out of their house 
and threw themselves down on a spot where his rays could 
fall upon them, while the cats sat and cleaned themselves 
on a ledge behind a lattice, for they were only allowed to 
run about in the inclosure when some one was there to pre 
vent their interference with birds. 

For an hour there was no sign of an enemy. Then one of 
the birds gave a sudden cry of alarm, and there was a 
sudden flutter as all rushed to shelter among the reeds ; but 
before the last could get within cover a dark object shot 
down from above. There was a frightened cry and a violent 
flapping as a large hawk suddenly seized one of the water 
fowl and struck it to the ground. In an instant the 
watchers rose to their feet, and as the hawk rose with its 
prey in its talons they shot their arrows almost simul 
taneously Amuba's arrow struck the hawk between the 
wings, and the creature fell dead still clutching its prey. 
Chebron's arrow was equally well aimed, but it struck a 
twig which deflected its course and it flew wide of the mark. 

Amuba gave a shout of triumph and leapt out from among 
the bushes. But he paused and turned as an exclamation 
of alarm broke from Chebron. To his astonishment, he 
saw a look of horror on his companion's face. His bow 
was still outstretched, and he stood as if petrified. 

"What's the matter, Chebron ?" Amuba exclaimed. " What 


has happened 1 Has a deadly snake bit you ? What is it, 
Chebron ?" 

"Do you not see?" Chebron said in a low voice. 

"I see nothing," Amuba replied looking round, and at 
the same time putting another arrow into his bow-string 
ready to repel the attack of some dangerous creature. 
"Where is it? T can see nothing." 

"My arrow; it glanced off a twig and entered there; I 
saw one of the cats fall. I must have killed it." 

Two years before Amuba would have laughed at the horror 
which Chebron's face expressed at the accident of shooting 
a cat, but he had been long enough in Egypt to know how 
serious were the consequences of such an act. Better by 
far that Chebron's arrow had lodged in the heart of a man. 
In that case an explanation of the manner in which the 
accident had occurred, a compensation to the relatives of 
the slain, and an expiatory offering at one of the temples 
would have been deemed sufficient to purge him from the 
offence; but to kill a cat, even by accident, was the most 
unpardonable offence an Egyptian could commit, and the 
offender would assuredly be torn to pieces by the mob. 
Knowing this he realized at once the terrible import of 
Chebron's words. 

For a moment he felt almost as much stunned as Chebron 
himself, but he quickly recovered his presence of mind. 

"There is only one thing to be done, Chebron; we must 
dig a hole and bury it at once. I will run and fetch a hoe." 

Throwing down his bow and arrows he ran to the little 
shed at the other end of the garden where the implements 
were kept, bidding a careless good morning to the men who 
were already at work there. He soon rejoined Chebron, 
who had not moved from the spot from which he had shot 
the unlucky arrow. 

" Do you think this is best, Amuba? Don't you think I 
had better go and tell my father?" 

" I do not think so, Chebron. Upon any other matter it 


would be right at once to confer with him, but as high- 
priest it would be a fearful burden to place upon his shoul 
ders. It would be his duty at once to denounce you; and 
did he keep it secret, and the matter be ever found out, it 
would involve him in our danger. Let us therefore bear the 
brunt of it by ourselves." 

"I dare not go in," Chebron said in awestruck tones. "It 
is too terrible." 

"Oh, I will manage that," Amuba said lightly. "You 
know to me a cat is a cat and nothing more, and I would 
just as soon bury one as that rascally hawk which has been 
the cause of all this mischief." 

So saying he crossed the open space, and entering a thick 
bush beyond the cat-house, dug a deep hole; then he went 
into the house. Although having no belief whatever in 
the sacredness of one animal more than another, he had 
yet been long enough among the Egyptians to feel a sensa 
tion akin to awe as he entered and saw lying upon the 
ground the largest of the cats pierced through by Chebron's 

Drawing out the shaft he lifted the animal, and putting it 
under his garment went out again, and entering the bushes 
buried it in the hole he had dug. He levelled the soil care 
fully over it, and scattered a few dead leaves on the top. 

"There, no one would notice that," he said to himself 
when he had finished; "but it's awfully unlucky it's that cat 
of all others." 

Then he went in, carefully erased the marks of blood 
upon the floor, and brought out the shaft, took it down to 
the pond and carefully washed the blood from it, and then 
returned to Chebron. 

"Is it ?" the latter asked as he approached. He did not 
say more, but Amuba understood him. 

" I am sorry to say it is," he replied. " It is horribly un 
lucky, for one of the others might not have been missed. 
There is no hoping that now." 


Chebron seemed paralyzed at the news. 

" Come, Chebron," Amuba said, " it will not do to give 
way to fear, we must brave it out. I will leave the door of 
the cat-house open, and when it is missed it will be thought 
that it has escaped and wandered away. At any rate there 
is no reason why suspicion should fall upon us if we do but 
put a bold face upon the matter; but we must not let our 
looks betray us. If the worst comes to the worst, and we find 
that suspicions are entertained, we must get out of the way. 
But there will be plenty of time to think of that, all that 
you have got to do now is to try and look as if nothing had 

" But how can II" Chebron said in broken tones. " To you, 
as you say, it is only a cat; to me it is a creature sacred 
above all others that I have slain. It is ten thousand times 
worse than if I had killed a man." 

" A cat is a cat," Amuba repeated. " I can understand what 
you feel about it, though to my mind it is ridiculous. There 
are thousands of cats in Thebes, let them choose another one 
for the temple. But I grant the danger of what has happened, 
and I know that if it is found out there is no hope for us." 

"You had nothing to do with it," Chebron said; "there 
is no reason why you should take all this risk with me." 

" We were both in the matter, Chebron, and that twig might 
just as well have turned my arrow from its course as yours. We 
went to kill a hawk together and we have shot a cat, and it 
is a terrible business, there is no doubt; and it makes no dif 
ference whatever whether I think the cat was only a cat if 
the people of Thebes considered it is a god. If it is found 
out it is certain death, and we shall need all our wits to 
save our lives; but unless you pluck up courage and look a 
little more like yourself, we may as well go at once and 
say what has happened and take the consequences. Only 
if you don't value your life I do mine; so if you mean to let 
your looks betray us, say so, and stop here for a few hours 
till I get a good start." 


" I will tell my father," Chebron said suddenly, " and abide 
by what he says. If he thinks it is his duty to denounce me, 
so be it; in that case you will run no risk." 

" But I don't mind running the risk, Chebron; I am quite 
ready to share the peril with you." 

" No; I will tell my father," Chebron repeated, "and abide 
by what he says. I am sure I can never face this out by 
myself, and that my looks will betray us. I have committed 
the most terrible crime an Egyptian can commit, and I dare 
not keep such a secret to myself." 

" Very well, Chebron, I will not try to dissuade you, and 
I will go and see Jethro. Of course to him as to me the 
shooting of a cat is a matter not worth a second thought; 
but he will understand the consequences, and if we fly will 
accompany us. You do not mind my speaking to him ] You 
could trust your life to him as to me." 

Chebron nodded, and moved away towards the house. 

"For pity sake, Chebron!" Amuba exclaimed, "do not 
walk like that. If the men at work get sight of you they can 
not but see that something strange has happened, and it will 
be recalled against you when the creature is missed." 

Chebron made an effort to walk with his usual gait. 
Amuba stood watching him for a minute, and then turned 
away with a gesture of impatience. 

" Chebron is clever and learned in many things, and I do 
not think that he lacks courage; but these Egyptians seem 
to have no iron in their composition when a pinch comes. 
Chebron walks as if all his bones had turned to jelly. Of 
course he is in a horrible scrape; still if he would but face it 
out with sense and pluck it would be easier for us all. How 
ever, I do think that it is more the idea that he has com 
mitted an act of horrible sacrilege than the fear of death 
that weighs him down. If it were not so serious a matter 
one could almost laugh at any one being crushed to the 
earth because he had accidentally killed a cat." 

Upon entering the house Chebion made his way to the 


room where his father was engaged in study. Dropping the 
heavy curtains over the door behind him he advanced a few 
paces, then fell on his knees, and touched the ground with 
his forehead. 

"Chebron!" Ameres exclaimed, laying down the roll of 
papyrus on which he was engaged and rising to his feet. 
"What is it, my son? Why do you thus kneel before me 
in an attitude of supplication 1 ? Kise and tell me what has 

Chebron raised his head but still continued on his knees. 
Ameres was startled at the expression of his son's face. The 
look of health and life had gone from it, the colour beneath 
the bronze skin had faded away, drops of perspiration stood 
on his forehead, his lips were parched and drawn. 

"What is it, my son?" Ameres repeated, now thoroughly 

" I have forfeited my life, father! Worse, I have offended 
the gods beyond forgiveness ! This morning I went with 
Amuba with our bows and arrows to shoot a hawk which 
has for some time been slaying the water-fowl It came 
down and we shot together. Amuba killed the hawk, but my 
arrow struck a tree and flew wide of the mark, and entering 
the cat's house killed Faucis, who was chosen only two days 
ago to take the place of the sacred cat in the temple of 

An exclamation of horror broke from the high-priest, and 
he recoiled a pace from his son. 

"Unhappy boy," he said, "your life is indeed forfeited. 
The king himself could not save his son from the fury of the 
populace had he perpetrated such a deed." 

"It is not my life I am thinking of, father," Chebron 
said, "but first of the horrible sacrilege, and then that I 
alone cannot bear the consequences, but that some of these 
must fall upon you and my mother and sister; for even to 
be related to one who has committed such a crime is a ter 
rible disgrace." 


Ameres walked up and down the room several times be 
fore he spoke. 

"As to our share of the consequences, Chebron, we must 
bear it as best we can," he said at last in a calmer tone than 
he had before used; "it is of you we must first think. It is 
a terrible affair; and yet, as you say, it was but an accident, 
and you are guiltless of any intentional sacrilege. But that 
plea will be as nothing. Death is the punishment for slay 
ing a cat; and the one you have slain having been chosen to 
succeed the cat of Bubastes, is of all others the one most 
sacred. The question is, what is to be done? You must fly 
and that instantly, though I fear that flight will be vain; for 
as soon as the news is known it will spread from one end of 
Egypt to the other, and every man's hand will be against you, 
and even by this time the discovery may have been made." 

"That will hardly be, father; for Amuba has buried the 
cat among the bushes, and has left the door of the house 
open so that it may be supposed for a time that it has 
wandered away. He proposed to me to fly with him at 
once; for he declares that he is determined to share my fate 
since we were both concerned in the attempt to kill the 
hawk. But in that of course he is wrong; for it is I, not he, 
who has done this thing." 

"Amuba has done rightly," Ameres said. "We have at 
least time to reflect." 

"But I do not want to fly, father. Of what good will life be 
to me with this awful sin upon my head 1 I wonder that you 
suffer me to remain a moment in your presence that you do 
not cast me out as a wretch who has mortally offended the 

Ameres waved his hand impatiently. 

" That is not troubling me now, Chebron. I do not view 
things in the same way as most men, and should it be that 
you have to fly for your life I will tell you more; suffice for 
you that I do not blame you, still less regard you with hor 
ror. The great thing for us to think of at present is as to the 


best steps to be taken. Were you to fly now you might get 
several days start, and might even get out of the country 
before an alarm was spread; but upon the other hand your 
disappearance would at once be connected with that of the 
cat as soon as it became known that she is missing, whereas 
if you stay here quietly it is possible that no one will con 
nect you in any way with the fact that the cat is gone. 

"That something has happened to it will speedily be 
guessed, for a cat does not stray away far from the place 
where it has been bred up; besides a cat of such a size and 
appearance is remarkable, and were it anywhere in the 
neighbourhood it would speedily be noticed. But now go 
and join Amuba in your room, and remain there for the 
morning as usual. I will give orders that your instructor 
be told that you will not want him to-day, as you are not 
well. I will see you presently when I have thought the 
matter fully out and determined what had best be done. 
Keep up a brave heart, my boy; the danger may yet pass over." 

Chebron retired overwhelmed with surprise at the kind 
ness with which his father had spoken to him, when he 
had expected that he would be so filled with horror at the 
terrible act of sacrilege that he would not have suffered him 
to remain in the house for a moment after the tale was told. 
And yet he had seemed to think chiefly of the danger to his 
life, and to be but little affected by what to Chebron himself 
was by far the most terrible part of the affair the religious 
aspect of the deed. On entering the room where he pur 
sued his studies he found Jethro as well as Amuba there. 

" I am sorry for you, young master," Jethro said as he 
entered. " Of course to me the idea of any fuss being made 
over the accidental killing of a cat is ridiculous; but I know 
how you view it, and the danger in which it has placed you. 
I only came in here with Amuba to say that you can rely 
upon me, and that if you decide on flight I am ready at once 
to accompany you." 

" Thanks, Jethro," Chebron replied. " Should I fly it will 


indeed be a comfort to have you with me as well as Amuba, 
who has already promised to go with me; but at present 
nothing is determined. I have seen my father and told him 
everything, and he will decide for me." 

" Then he will not denounce you," Amuba said. " I 
thought that he would not." 

"No; and he has spoken so kindly that I am amazed. 
It did not seem possible to me that an Egyptian would 
have heard of such a dreadful occurrence without feeling 
horror and detestation of the person who did it, even were 
he his own son. Still more would one expect it from a man 
who, like my father, is a high-priest to the gods." 

"Your father is a wise as well as a learned man," Jethro 
said; "and he knows that the gods cannot be altogether 
offended at an affair for which fate and not the slayer is 
responsible. The real slayer of the cat is the twig which 
turned the arrow, and I do not see that you are any more 
to blame, or anything like so much to blame, as is the hawk 
at whom you shot." 

This, however, was no consolation to Chebron, who threw 
himself down on a couch in a state of complete prostration. 
It seemed to him that even could this terrible thing be 
hidden he must denounce himself and bear the penalty. 
How could he exist with the knowledge that he was under 
the ban of the gods? His life would be a curse rather than 
a gift under such circumstances. Physically, Chebron was 
not a coward, but he had not the toughness of mental fibre 
which enables some men to bear almost unmoved misfor 
tunes which would crush others to the ground. As to the 
comforting assurances of Amuba and Jethro they failed to 
give him the slightest consolation. He loved Amuba as 
a brother, and in all other matters his opinion would have 
weighed greatly with him; but Amuba knew nothing of the 
gods of Egypt, and could not feel in the slightest the ter 
rible nature of the act of sacrilege, and therefore on this 
point his opinion could have no weight 


" Jethro," Amuba said, "you told me you were going to 
escort Mysa one day or other to the very top of the hills, 
in order that she could thence look down upon the whole 
city. Put it into her head to go this morning, or at least 
persuade her to go into the city. If she goes into the 
garden she will at once notice that the cat is lost; whereas, 
if you can keep her away for the day it will give us so 
much more time." 

" But if Ameres decides that you had best fly, I might on 
my return find that you have both gone." 

" Should he do so, Jethro, he will tell you the route we 
have taken, and arrange for some point at which you can 
join us. He would certainly wish you to go with us, for he 
would know that your experience and strong arm would be 
above all things needful." 

"Then I will go at once," Jethro agreed. "There are two or 
three excursions she has been wanting to make, and I think 
I can promise that she shall go on one of them to-day. If 
she says anything about wanting to go to see her pets before 
starting, I can say that you have both been there this morn 
ing and seen after them." 

" I do not mean to fly," Chebron said, starting up, "unless 
it be that my father commands me to do so. Rather a 
thousand worlds I stay here and meet my fate ! " 

Jethro would have spoken, but Amuba signed to him to 
go at once, and crossing the room took Chebron 's hand. It 
was hot and feverish, and there was a patch of colour in his 

" Do not let us talk about it, Chebron," he said. " You 
have put the matter in your father's hands, and you may be 
sure that he will decide wisely; therefore the burden is off 
your shoulders for the present. You could have no better 
counsellor in all Egypt, and the fact that he holds so high 
and sacred an office will add to the weight of his words. If 
he believes that your crime against the gods is so great that 
you have no hope of happiness in life, he will tell you so; 


if he considers that, as it seems to me, the gods cannot 
resent an accident as they might do a crime against them 
done wilfully, and that you may hope by a life of piety to 
win their forgiveness, then he will bid you fly. 

"He is learned in the deepest of the mysteries of your 
religion, and will view matters in a different light to that 
in which they are looked at by the ignorant rabble. At 
any rate, as the matter is in his hands, it is useless for you 
to excite yourself. As far as personal danger goes, I am 
willing to share it with you, to take half the fault of this 
unfortunate accident, and to avow that as we were engaged 
together in the act that led to it we are equally culpable of 
the crime. 

"Unfortunately, I cannot share your greater trouble 
your feeling of horror at what you regard as sacrilege; for 
we Rebu hold the life of one animal no more sacred than 
the life of another, and have no more hesitation in shooting 
a cat than a deer. Surely your gods cannot be so powerful 
in Egypt and impotent elsewhere; and yet if they are as 
powerful, how is it that their vengeance has not fallen 
upon other peoples who slay without hesitation the animals 
so dear to them 1 ? " 

"That is what I have often wondered," Chebron said, 
falling readily into the snare, for he and Amuba had had 
many conversations on such subjects, and points were con 
stantly presenting themselves which he was unable to solve. 

An hour later, when a servant entered and told Chebron 
and Amuba that Ameres wished to speak to them, the 
former had recovered to some extent from the nervous 
excitement under which he had first suffered. The two 
lads bowed respectfully to the high-priest, and then stand 
ing submissively before him waited for him to address them. 

" I have sent for you both," he said after a pause, " be 
cause it seems to me that, although Amuba was not himself 
concerned in this sad business, it is probable that as he was 
engaged with you at the time the popular fury might not 


nicely discriminate between you." He paused as if ex 
pecting a reply, and Amuba said quietly: 

" That is what I have been saying to Chebron, my lord. 
I consider myself fully as guilty as he is. It was a mere 
accident that his arrow and not mine was turned aside from 
the mark we aimed at, and I am ready to share his lot, 
whether you decide that the truth shall be published at 
once, or whether we should attempt to fly." 

Ameres bowed his head gravely, and then looked at his 

" I, father, although I am ready to yield my wishes to 
your will, and to obey you in this as in all other matters, 
would beseech you to allow me to denounce myself and 
to bear my fate. I feel that I would infinitely rather die 
than live with this terrible weight and guilt upon my 

" I expected as much of you, Chebron, and applaud your 
decision," Ameres said gravely. 

Chebron's face brightened, while that of Amuba fell 
Ameres, after a pause, went on : 

"Did I think as you do, Chebron, that the accidental 
killing of a cat is a deadly offence against the gods, I should 
say denounce yourself at once, but I do not so consider it." 

Chebron gazed at his father as if he could scarce credit 
his sense of hearing, while even Amuba look surprised. 

" You have frequently asked me questions, Chebron, which 
I have either turned aside or refused to answer. It was, 
indeed, from seeing that you had inherited from me the 
spirit of inquiry, that I deemed it best that you should not 
ascend to the highest order of the priesthood; for if so, the 
knowledge you would acquire would render you, as it has 
rendered me, dissatisfied with the state of things around 
you. Had it not been for this most unfortunate accident I 
should never have spoken to you further on the subject, but 
as it is I feel that it is my duty to tell you more. 

" I have had a hard struggle with myself, and have, since 

(481) M 


you left me, thought over from every point of view what I 
ought to do. On the one hand, I should have to tell you 
things known only to an inner circle, things which were it 
known I had whispered to anyone my life would be for 
feited. On the other hand, if I keep silent I should doom 
you to a life of misery. I have resolved to take the former 
alternative. I may first tell you what you do not know, 
that I have long been viewed with suspicion by those of 
the higher priesthood who know my views, which are that 
the knowledge we possess should not be confined to our 
selves, but should be disseminated, at least, among that 
class of educated Egyptians capable of appreciating it. 

" What I am about to tell you is not, as a whole, fully 
understood perhaps by any. It is the outcome of my own 
reflections, founded upon the light thrown upon things by 
the knowledge I have gained. You asked me one day, Cheb- 
ron, how we knew about the gods how they first revealed 
themselves, seeing that they are not things that belong to 
the world? I replied to you at the time that these things 
are mysteries a convenient answer with which we close the 
mouths of questioners. 

" Listen now and I will tell you how religion first began 
upon earth, not only in Egypt but in all lands. Man felt his 
own powerlessness. Looking at the operations of nature 
the course of the heavenly bodies, the issues of birth and life 
and death he concluded, and rightly, that there was a God 
over all things, but this God was too mighty for his imagina 
tion to grasp. 

" He was everywhere and nowhere, he animated all things, 
and yet was nowhere to be found; he gave fertility and he 
caused famine, he gave life and he gave death, he gave light 
and heat, he sent storms and tempests. He was too infinite 
and too various for the untutored mind of the early man to 
comprehend, and so they tried to approach him piece-meal. 
They worshipped him as the sun, the giver of heat and life 
and fertility; they worshipped him as a destructive god, 


they invoked his aid as a beneficent being, they offered 
sacrifices to appease his wrath as a terrible one. And so in 
time they came to regard all these attributes of his all his 
sides and lights under which they viewed him as being 
distinct and different, and instead of all being the qualities 
of one God as being each the quality or attribute of separate 

" So there came to be a god of life and a god of death, 
one who sends fertility and one who causes famine. All 
sorts of inanimate objects were defined as possessing some 
fancied attribute either for good or evil, and the one Almighty 
God became hidden and lost in the crowd of minor deities. 
In some nations the fancies of man went one way, in another 
another. The lower the intelligence of the people the lower 
their gods. In some countries serpents are sacred, doubtless 
because originally they were considered to typify at once the 
subtleness and the destructive power of a god. In others 
trees are worshipped. There are peoples who make the sun 
their god. Others the moon. Our forefathers in Egypt 
being a wiser people than the savages around them, wor 
shipped the attributes of gods under many different names. 
First, eight great deities were chosen to typify the chief 
characteristics of the Mighty One. Chnoumis, or Neuf, 
typified the idea of the spirit of God that spirit which per 
vades all creation. Ameura, the intellect of God. Osiris, the 
goodness of God. Ptah typified at once the working power 
and the truthfulness of God. Khem represents the produc 
tive power the god who presides over the multiplication of 
all species : man, beast, fish, and vegetable and so with 
the rest of the great gods and of the minor divinities, which 
are reckoned by the score. 

" In time certain animals, birds, and other creatures, whose 
qualities are considered to resemble one or other of the 
deities, are in the first place regarded as typical of them, then 
are held as sacred to them, then in some sort of way become 
mixed up with the gods and to be held almost as the^gods 


themselves. This is, I think, the history of the religions of all 
countries. The highest intelligences, the men of education 
and learning, never quite lose sight of the original truths, 
and recognize that the gods represent only the various attri 
butes of the one Almighty God. The rest of the population 
lose sight of the truth, and really worship as gods these 
various creations, that are really but types and shadows. 

" It is perhaps necessary that it should be so. It is easier 
for the grosser and more ignorant classes to worship things 
that they can see and understand, to strive to please those 
whose statues and temples they behold, to fear to draw 
upon themselves the vengeance of those represented to them 
as destructive powers, than to worship an inconceivable God, 
without form or shape, so mighty the imagination cannot 
picture him, so beneficent, so all-providing, so equable and 
serene, that the human mind cannot grasp even a notion of 
him. Man is material, and must worship the material in a 
form in which he thinks he can comprehend it, and so he 
creates gods for himself with figures, likenesses, passions, 
and feelings like those of the many animals he sees around 

" The Israelite maid whom we brought hither, and with 
whom I have frequently conversed, tells me that her people 
before coming to this land worshipped but one God like 
unto him of whom I have told you, save that they belittled 
him by deeming that he was their own special God, caring 
for them above all peoples of the earth; but in all other 
respects he corresponded with the Almighty One whom we 
who have gained glimpses of the truth which existed ere the 
Pantheon of Egypt came into existence, worship in our 
hearts, and it seems to me as if this little handful of men 
who came to Egypt hundreds of years ago were the only 
people in the world who kept the worship of the one God 
clear and undefiled." 

Chebron and Amuba listened in awe-struck silence to the 
words of the high-priest. Amuba's face lit up with pleasure 


and enthusiasm as he listened to words which seemed to 
clear away all the doubts and difficulties that had been in 
his mind. To Chebron the revelation, though a joyful one, 
came as a great shock His mind, too, had long been un 
satisfied. He had wondered and questioned, but the destruc 
tion at one blow of all the teachings of his youth, of all he 
had held sacred, came at first as a terrible shock Neither 
spoke when the priest concluded, and after a pause he re 

" You will understand, Chebron, that what 1 have told you 
is not in its entirety held even by the most enlightened, 
and that the sketch I have given you of the formation of all 
religions is, in fact, the idea which I myself have formed as 
the result of all I have learned, both as one initiated in all 
the learning of the ancient Egyptians and from my own 
studies both of our oldest records and the traditions of all 
the peoples with whom Egypt has come in contact. But that 
all our gods merely represent attributes of the one deity, 
and have no personal existence as represented in our temples, 
is acknowledged more or less completely by all those most 
deeply initiated in the mysteries of our religion. 

"When we offer sacrifices we offer them not to the images 
behind our altar, but to God the creator, God the preserver, 
God the fertilizer, to God the ruler, to God the omnipotent 
over good and evil. Thus, you see, there is no mockery in 
our services, although to us they bear an inner meaning not 
understood by others. They worship a personality endowed 
with principle ; we the principle itself. They see in the 
mystic figure the representation of a deity; we see in it the 
type of an attribute of a higher deity. 

"You may think that in telling you all this I have told 
you things which should be told only to those whose privilege 
it is to have learned the inner mysteries of their religion, 
that, maybe, I am untrue to my vows. These, lads, are 
matters for my own conscience. Personally, I have long been 
impressed with the conviction that it were better that the 


circles of initiates should be very widely extended, and that 
all capable by education and intellect of appreciating the 
mightiness of the truth should no longer be left in darkness. 
I have been overruled, and should never have spoken had 
not this accident taken place ; but when I see that the whole 
happiness of your life is at stake, that should the secret ever 
be discovered you will either be put to death despairing and 
hopeless, or have to fly and live despairing and hopeless in 
some foreign country, I have considered that the balance of 
duty lay on the side of lightening your mind by a revela 
tion of what was within my own. And it is not, as I have told 
you, so much the outcome of the teaching I have received as 
of my own studies and a conviction I have arrived at as to 
the nature of God. Thus, then, my son, you can lay aside 
the horror which you have felt at the thought that by the 
accidental slaying of a cat you offended the gods beyond for 
giveness. The cat is but typical of the qualities attributed 
to Baste. Baste herself is but typical of one of the qualities 
of the One God." 

"Oh, my father!" Chebron exclaimed, throwing himself 
on his knees beside Ameres and kissing his hand, "how 
good you are. What a weight have you lifted from my 
mind. What a wonderful future have you opened to me if 
I escape the danger that threatens me now. If I have to die 
I can do so like one who fears not the future after death. If 
I live I shall no longer be oppressed with the doubts and 
difficulties which have so long weighed upon me. Though till 
now you have given me no glimpse of the great truth, I have 
at times felt not only that the answers you gave me failed to 
satisfy me, but it seemed to me also that you yourself with 
all your learning and wisdom were yet unable to set me right 
in these matters as you did in all others upon which I 
questioned you. My father, you have given me life, and 
more than life you have given me a power over fate. I am 
ready now to fly, should you think it best, or to remain here 
and risk whatever may happen." 


"I do not think you should fly, Chebron. In the first 
place, flight would be an acknowledgment of guilt ; in the 
second, I do not see where you could fly. To-morrow, 
at latest, the fact that the creature is missing will be dis 
covered, and as soon as it was known that you had gone a 
hot pursuit would be set up. If you went straight down to 
the sea you would probably be overtaken long before you 
got there; and even did you reach a port before your pur 
suers you might have to wait days before a ship sailed. 

"Then again, did you hide in any secluded neighbourhood, 
you would surely be found sooner or later, for the news will 
go from end to end of Egypt, and it will be everyone's duty 
to search for and denounce you. Messengers would be sent 
to all countries under Egyptian government, and even if you 
passed our frontiers by land or sea your peril would be as 
as great as it is here. Lastly, did you surmount all these 
difficulties, and reach some land beyond the sway of Egypt, 
you would be an exile for life. Therefore I say that flight 
is your last resource, to be undertaken only if a discovery is 
made; but we may hope that no evil fortune will lead the 
searchers to the conclusion that the cat was killed here. 

"When it is missed there will be search high and low 
in which every one will join. When the conclusion is at 
last arrived at that it has irrecoverably disappeared, all 
sorts of hypothesis will be started to account for it, some will 
think that it probably wandered to the hills and became 
the prey of hyenas or other wild beasts; some will assert 
that it has been killed and hidden away; others that it 
has made its way down to the Nile and has been carried 
off by a crocodile. Thus there is no reason why suspicion 
should fall upon you more than upon others, but you will 
have to play your part carefully." 

184 "IT is WONDERFUL!" 



WHEN Chebron and Amuba returned to the room set 
apart for their use and study their conversation did 
not turn upon the slaying of the cat or the danger which 
threatened them, but upon the wonderful revelation that 
Ameres had made. Neither of them thought for a moment 
of doubting his words. Their feeling of reverence for his 
wisdom and learning would have been sufficient in itself for 
them to accept without a question any statement that he 
made to them. But there was in addition their own inward 
conviction of the truth of his theory. It appealed at once 
to their heads and hearts. It satisfied all their longing and 
annihilated their doubts and difficulties; cleared away at 
once the pantheon of strange and fantastic figures that had 
been a source of doubting amusement to Amuba, of bewil 
derment to Chebron. 

" The Israelite maid Ruth was right, then," Amuba said. 
"You know that she told us that her forefathers who came 
down into Egypt believed that there was one God only, and 
that all the others were false gods. She said that he could not 
be seen or pictured; that he was God of all the heavens, and 
so infinite that the mind of man could form no idea of him. 
Everything she said of him seems to be true, except inas 
much as she said he cared more for her ancestors than for 
other men; but of course each nation and people would 
think that" 

" It is wonderful," Chebron replied as he paced restlessly 
up and down the room. " Now that I know the truth it 
seems impossible I could have really believed that all the 
strange images of our temples really represented gods. It 
worried me to think of them. I could not see how they 


could be, and yet I never doubted their existence. It seems 
to me now that all the people of Egypt are living in a sort of 
nightmare. Why do those who know so much suffer them 
to remain in such darkness?" 

" I understood your father to say, Chebron, that he him 
self is only in favour of the more enlightened and educated 
people obtaining a glimpse of the truth. I think I can 
understand that. Were all the lower class informed that the 
gods they worshipped were merely shadows of a great God 
and not real living deities, they would either fall upon and 
rend those who told them so as impious liars, or, if they 
could be made to believe it, they would no longer hold to 
any religion, and in their rage might tear down the temples, 
abolish the order of priesthood altogether, spread tumult 
and havoc through the land, rebel against all authority, 
destroy with one blow all the power and glory of Egypt." 

" That is true," Chebron said thoughtfully. " No doubt 
the ignorant mass of the people require something material 
to worship. They need to believe in gods who will punish 
impiety and wrong and reward well-doing; and the religion 
of Egypt, as they believe it, is better suited to their daily 
wants than the worship of a deity so mighty and great and 
good that their intellect would fail altogether to grasp 

Their conversation was suddenly interrupted by the 
entrance of Euth. 

" Faucis is missing. When we came back from our walk 
we went out to the animals, and the door of the house is 
open and the cat has gone. Mysa says will you come at 
once and help look for it. I was to send all the women 
who can be spared from the house to join in the search." 

Work was instantly abandoned, for all knew that Faucis 
had been chosen to be the sacred cat at Bubastes; but even 
had it been one of the others the news that it was missing 
would have caused a general excitement. So esteemed were 
even the most common animals of the cat tribe that, if a cat 


happened to die in a house, the inhabitants went into 
mourning and shaved their eyebrows in token of their grief; 
the embalmers were sent for, the dead cat made into a 
mummy, and conveyed with much solemnity to the great 
catacombs set aside for the burial of the sacred animals. 
Thus the news that Faucis was missing was so important 
that work was at once laid aside and the men and female 
slaves began to search the garden thoroughly, examining 
every bush and tree, and calling loudly to the missing 
animal Chebron and Amuba joined in the search as 
actively as the rest 

"Where can it be?" Mysa exclaimed. "Why should it 
have wandered away? It never did so before, though the 
door of the cat-house is often left open all day. Where do 
you think it can have gone to? Do you think it could 
have got over the wall?" 

"It could get over the wall easily enough," Chebron 

"It is a terrible misfortune!" continued Mysa with tears 
in her eyes. "Mamma fainted on hearing the news, and her 
women are burning feathers under her nose and slapping 
her hands and sprinkling water on her face. Whatever will 
be done if it does not come back before to-morrow, for I 
hear a solemn procession is coming from Bubastes to fetch 
it away ? Poor dear Faucis ! And it seemed so contented 
and happy, and it had everything it could want! What 
can have induced her to wander away?" 

"Cats are often uncertain things," Amuba said. "They are 
not like dogs, who are always ready to follow their masters, 
and who will lie down for hours, ready to start out when 
ever called upon." 

"Yes, but Faucis was not a common cat, Amuba. It 
did not want to catch mice and birds for a living. It had 
everything it could possibly want cushions to lie on, and 
fresh water and milk to drink, and plenty of everything 
to eat" 


" But even all that will not satisfy cats when the instinct 
to wander comes upon them," Amuba said. 

Ameres himself soon came out of the house, and, upon 
hearing that the cat was not to be found either in the gar 
den or within, gave orders for the whole of the males of the 
household to sally out in the search, to inform all the neigh 
bours what had happened, and to pray them to search their 
gardens. They were also to make every inquiries of all they 
met whether they had seen a cat resembling Faucis. 

" This is a very serious matter," Ameres said. " After 
the choice of the priests of Bubastes had fixed upon Faucis 
to be the sacred cat of the temple of Bubastes, the greatest 
care and caution should have been exercised respecting an 
animal towards whom all the eyes of Egypt were turned. 
For the last two or three weeks the question as to which 
cat was to succeed to the post of honour has been discussed 
in every household. Great has been the excitement among 
all the families possessing cats that had the smallest chance 
whatever of being selected; and what will be said if the 
cat is not forthcoming when the procession arrives to 
morrow from Bubastes to conduct her there, I tremble to 
think of. The excitement and stir will be prodigious, and 
the matter will become of state importance. Well, do not 
stand here, but go at once and join in the search." 

" I felt horribly guilty when talking to Mysa," Chebron 
said. " Of course she is very proud that Faucis was chosen 
for the temple, but I know that she has really been grieving 
over the approaching loss of her favourite. But of course 
that was nothing to what she will feel when she finds that 
no news whatever can be obtained of the creature; and it 
was hard to play the part and to pretend to know nothing 
about it, when all the time one knew it was lying dead and 
buried in the garden." 

"Yes, I felt that myself," Amuba agreed, "but we cannot 
help it. Mysa will probably in the course of her life have 
very much more serious grief to bear than the loss of a cat." 


All day the search was maintained, and when it was dark 
great numbers of men with torches searched every point far 
and near on that side of Thebes. The news had now spread 
far and wide, and numbers of the friends of the high-priest 
called to inquire into the particulars of the loss and to con 
dole with him on the calamity which had befallen his house. 
Innumerable theories were broached as to the course the 
animal would have taken after once getting out of the gar 
den, while the chances of its recovery were eagerly dis 
cussed. The general opinion was that it would speedily 
be found. A cat of such remarkable appearance must, it 
was argued, attract notice wherever it went; and even if 
it did not return of its own accord, as was generally ex 
pected, it was considered certain that it would be brought 
back before many hours. 

But when upon the following morning it was found that 
it had not returned and that all search for it had been 
fruitless, there was a feeling akin to consternation. For the 
first time men ventured to hint that something must have 
befallen the sacred cat. Either in its rambles some evil dog 
must have fallen upon it and slain it, or it must have 
been carried off by a crocodile as it quenched its thirst at 
a pool. That it had fallen by the hand of man no one 
even suggested. No Egyptian would be capable of an act 
of such sacrilege. The idea was too monstrous to entertain 
for a moment 

Mysa had cried herself to sleep, and broke forth in fresh 
lamentation when upon waking in the morning she heard 
that her favourite was still absent; while her mother took 
the calamity so seriously to heart that she kept her bed. 
The slaves went about silently and spoke with bated breath, 
as if a death had taken place in the house. Ameres and 
Chebron were both anxious and disturbed, knowing that 
the excitement would grow every hour; while Amuba and 
Jethro, joining busily in the search and starting on horse 
back the first thing in the morning to make inquiries in 


more distant localities, were secretly amused at the fuss and 
excitement which was being made over the loss of a cat 

It was well for the household of Ameres that he occupied 
so exalted a position in the priesthood. Had he been a 
private citizen, the excitement, which increased hour by hour 
when the vigilant search carried on far and wide for the 
missing cat proved fruitless, would speedily have led to an 
outbreak of popular fury. But the respect due to the high- 
priest of Osiris, his position, his well-known learning and 
benevolence rendered it impossible for the supposition to 
be entertained for a moment that the cat could have come 
to an untimely end within the limit of his house or garden, 
but it was now generally believed that, after wandering 
away, as even the best conducted of cats will do at times, 
it had fallen a victim to some savage beast or had been 
devoured by a crocodile. 

So heavy was the penalty for the offence, so tremendous 
the sacrilege in killing a cat, that such an act was almost 
unknown in Egypt, and but few instances are recorded of 
its having taken place. As in the present case the enormity 
of the act would be vastly increased by the size and beauty 
of the cat, and the fact that it had been chosen for the temple 
of Bubastes, this seemed to put it altogether beyond the 
range of possibility that the creature had fallen by the 
hands of man. When a week passed without tidings it was 
generally accepted as a fact that the cat must be dead, and 
Ameres and his household in accordance with the custom 
shaved their eyebrows in token of mourning. 

Although not suspected of having had anything to do 
with the loss of the cat the event nevertheless threw a sort of 
cloud over the household of Ameres. It was considered to 
be such a terrible stroke of ill-luck that a cat, and above all 
such a cat should have been lost upon the very eve of her 
being installed as the most sacred animal in the temple of 
Bubastes, that it seems as if it must be a direct proof of the 
anger of the gods, and there was a general shrinking on the 


part of their friends and acquaintances from intercourse 
with people upon whom such a misfortune had fallen. 
Ameres cared little for public opinion, and continued on 
his way with placid calmness, muiistering in the temple 
and passing the rest of his time in study. 

The example of Ameres, however, was wholly lost upon 
his wife. The deference paid to her as the wife of the high- 
priest, and also to herself as the principal figure in the services 
in which women took part, was very dear to her, and she 
felt the change greatly. Her slaves had a very bad time of it, 
and she worried Ameres with constant complaints as to the 
changed demeanour of her acquaintances and his indifference 
to the fact that they were no longer asked to entertain 
ments; nor was she in any way pacified by his quiet 
assurances that it was useless for them to irritate them 
selves over trifles, and that matters would mend themselves 
in time. 

But as the days went on, so far from mending things 
became worse, groups of people frequently assembled round 
the house, and shouts of anger and hatred were raised when 
any of the occupants entered or left. Even when Ameres 
was passing through the streets in procession with the 
sacred emblems hoots and cries were raised among the 
crowd. Chebron took this state of things greatly to heart, 
and more than once he implored his father to allow him to 
declare the truth openly and bear the consequences. 

" I am not afraid of death, father. Have you not trained 
me to regard life as of no account ? Do we not in our feasts 
always see the image of a dead man carried past to remind 
us that death is always among us? You have Mysa and 
my mother. I fear death far less than this constant anxiety 
that is hanging over us?' 

But Ameres would not hear of the sacrifice. 

" I do not pretend that there is no danger, Chebrou. I 
thought at first that the matter would soon pass over, but 
T own that I was wrong. The unfortunate fact that the 


creature was chosen as sacred cat for the temple at Bubastes 
has given its loss a prominence far beyond that which there 
would have been had it been an ordinary animal of its class, 
and the affair has made an extraordinary sensation in the 
city. Still I cannot but think that an enemy must be at 
work stirring up the people against me. I suspect, although 
I may be wrong, that Ptylus is concerned in the matter. 
Since he reappeared after his sudden absence following the 
night when you overheard that conversation, he has affected 
a feeling of warmth and friendship which I believe have 
been entirely feigned. 

" Whether he was one of those you overheard I am un 
able to say, but his sudden disappearance certainly favours 
that idea. At any rate, he can have no real reason for any 
extra cordiality towards me at present, but would more 
naturally still feel aggrieved at my rejection of his son as a 
husband for Mysa. I thought at first when you told me 
what you had overheard that possibly it was a plot against 
my life. Now I feel sure of it. 

" No doubt they believe, as no measures were taken, that 
their . conversation was not overheard or that only a few 
words reached the listeners, and his manner to me is de 
signed to allay any suspicion I might have conceived had as 
much of the conversation as was overheard been reported to 
me. It has had just the opposite effect. At any rate, an 
enemy is at work, and even were you to sacrifice yourself 
by admitting that you slew the missing animal, not only 
would your death be the result but a general ruin would 
fall upon us. 

" The mob would easily be taught to believe that I must 
to a great extent be responsible; the opinions I have ex 
pressed would be quoted against me, and even the favour of 
the king could not maintain me in my present position in 
defiance of popular clamour. No, my son, we must stand or 
fall altogether. Jethro offered yesterday if I liked to dig up 
the remains of the cat, carry it away and hide it under some 


rocks at a distance, but I think the danger would be greater 
than in allowing matters to remain as they are. It is certain 
that the house is watched. As you know, servants going in 
and out after nightfall have been rudely hustled and thrown 
down. Some have been beaten, and returned well nigh 
stripped to the skin. I doubt not that these attacks were 
made in order to discover if they had anything concealed 
under their garments. Were Jethro to venture upon such 
an attempt he might either be attacked and the cat found 
upon him, or he might be followed and the place where he 
hid it marked down. Things must go on as they are." 

Ameres did not tell Chebron the whole of the conversation 
he had had with Jethro. After declining his offer to en-, 
deavour to dispose of the body of the cat elsewhere he said : 

"But, Jethro, although I cannot accept this perilous 
enterprise you have offered to undertake, I will entrust you 
with a charge that will show you how I confide in your 
devotion to my family. Should this storm burst, should the 
populace of this town once become thoroughly imbued with 
the idea that the sacred cat has been slain here, there will 
be an outburst of fanatical rage which will for the time 
carry all before it. 

" For myself I care absolutely nothing. I am perfectly 
willing to die as soon as my time comes. I have done my 
work to the best of my power, and can meet the Mighty 
One with uplifted head. I have wronged no man, and have 
laboured all my life for the good of the people. I have 
never spared myself, and am ready for my rest; but I would 
fain save Chebron and Mysa from harm. Even in their 
wrath the populace will not injure the women, but Mysa 
without a protector might fall into evil hands. As to her, 
however, I can do nothing; but Chebron I would save. If 
he grows up he will, I think, do good in the world. He 
has not the strength and vigour of Amuba, but he is not 
behind other lads of his age. He has been well educated. 
His mind is active and his heart good. I look to you, 


Jeihro, to save him if it be possible with Amuba, for I feai 
that Amuba is in as much danger as he is. 

" Should the slaves be seized and questioned, and perhaps 
flogged, till they say what they know, the fact would be sure 
to come out that the two lads were together among the 
animals on the morning before the cat was missed. It will 
be noticed, too, that they took with them their bows and 
arrows. It will therefore be assumed that the responsibility 
of the act lies upon both of them. Chebron, I know, would 
proclaim the truth if he had an opportunity for speech, but 
an angry crowd does not stop to listen, and the same fate 
will befall them both. 

" You who are a stranger to our manners can hardly con 
ceive the frenzy of excitement and rage in which the popu 
lation of Egypt are thrown by the killing of a cat I doubt 
whether even the king's person would be held sacred were 
the guilt of such an offence brought home to him; and, of 
course, the fact that this unfortunate beast was to have gone 
to the temple of Bubastes makes its death a matter ten 
times graver than ordinary. Therefore, should the storm 
burst, there is no hope for either of them but in flight. 
The question is, whither could they fly 1 

11 Certainly they would be safe nowhere in Egypt. Nor, 
were it possible that they could journey north and reach 
the sea, could they do so before the news reached the ports. 
Naturally messengers would be sent to the frontier towns, 
and even the governors of the provinces lying east of the 
Great Sea would hear of it; and could they leave the 
country and cross the desert they might be seized and sent 
back on their arrival. For the same reason the routes from 
here to the ports on the Arabian Sea are closed to them. 
It seems to me that their only hope of safety lies in reaching 
the country far up the Nile and gaining Meroe, over whose 
people the authority of Egypt is but a shadow, thence 
possibly they might some day reach the Arabian Sea, cross 
that and pass up through the country east of the Great Sea, 

(481) N 


and travelling by the route by which you came hither reach 
your country. Long before they could leave the savage 
tribes and start upon their journey this matter would have 
been forgotten, and whatever dangers might befall them 
that of arrest for participation in this matter would not be 
among them. 

" I know that your fidelity and friendship for the son of 
your late king would cause you to risk all dangers and hard 
ships for his sake, and that if bravery and prudence could 
take him safely through such terrible dangers as would be 
encountered in such a journey as I speak of, you will conduct 
him through them. I ask you to let Chebron share your 
protection, and to render him such service as you will give 
to Amuba." 

"I can promise that willingly, my lord," Jethro answered. 
" He has treated Amuba more as a brother than a servant 
since we came here, and I will treat him as if he were a 
brother to Amuba now that danger threatens. The journey 
you speak of would, indeed, be a long and dangerous one; 
but I agree with you that only by accomplishing it is there 
even a chance of escape." 

" Then I commit my son to your charge, Jethro, and I 
do so with full confidence that if it be possible for him to 
make this journey in safety he will do so. I have already 
placed in the hands of Chigron, the embalmer, a large sum 
of money. You can trust him absolutely. It is through 
my patronage that he has risen from being a small worker 
to be the master of one of the largest businesses in Egypt, 
and he has the embalming of all the sacred animals belonging 
to our temple, and several others. He will hide the boys 
for a time until you are ready to start on your journey. 

"When you are once a few days south of Thebes you will 
be fairly safe from pursuit, for they will never think of 
looking for you in that direction, but will make sure that 
you will attempt to leave the country either by sea, by the 
Eastern Desert, or that you may possibly try to reach some 


of the tribes in the west, and so to go down upon the 
Great Sea there. I thought at first that this might be the 
best direction; but the tribes are all subject to us, and 
would naturally regard Egyptians going among them as 
fugitives from justice, and so hand them over to us." 

"You can rely upon me, my lord, to carry out your 
directions and do all that is possible to serve the two lads. 
What the country through which we have to pass is like, or 
its inhabitants, I know not, but at least we will do our best 
to reach the Arabian Sea as you direct. Amuba is hardy 
and strong, and Chebron, though less powerful in frame, is 
courageous, and able to use his weapons. We should, of 
course, travel in disguise. But you spoke something about 
your daughter in what way can I serve her 1 I have now 
accompanied her in her walks for months, and would lay 
down my life for her." 

"I fear that you can do nothing," Ameres said after a 
pause. "We have many friends, one of whom will doubtless 
receive her. At first I would, if it were possible, that she 
should go to some relatives of mine who live at Amyla, fifty 
miles up the river. She was staying with them two years 
ago and will know the house; but I do not see how you 
could take her the boys will be sufficient charge on your 
hands. She will have her mother with her, and though I 
fear that the latter has little real affection for her, having 
no time to think of aught but her own pleasure and amuse 
ment, she will be able to place her among the many friends 
she has. 

" It is not her present so much I am thinking of as her 
future. I should like my little Mysa to marry happily. 
She is a little self-willed, and has been indulged; and 
although, of course, she would marry as I arrange for her, 
I would not give her to anyone who was not altogether 
agreeable to her. I fear that should anything happen to 
me the same consideration might not be paid to her inclina 
tions. However, Jethro, I see no manner in which you can 


be useful to Mysa. So far as she is concerned things must 
be left to take their own course." 

" I trust," Jethro said, " that your forebodings will not be 
verified. I cannot believe that an absurd suspicion can 
draw away the hearts of the people from one whom they 
have so respected as yourself." 

Ameres shook his head. 

"The people are always fickle, Jethro, and easily led; 
and their love and respect for the gods renders it easy for 
anyone who works on that feeling to lash them into fury. 
All else is as nothing in their eyes in comparison with their 
religion. It is blind worship, if you will; but it is a sincere 
one. Of all the people in the world there are none to whom 
religion counts so much as to the Egyptains. It is inter 
woven with all their daily life. Their feasts and processions 
are all religious, they eat and drink and clothe themselves 
according to its decrees, and undertake no action, however 
trifling, without consulting the gods. Thus, therefore, while 
in all other respects obedience is paid to the law, they are 
maddened by any supposed insult to their religion, or any 
breach of its observances. I know that we are in danger. 
The ideas that I have held of the regeneration of the people 
by purifying their religious beliefs have been used as wea 
pons against me. I know from what has come to my ears 
that it has been hinted among them, that in spite of my 
high office I have no respect for the gods. 

" The accusation is false, but none the less dangerous for 
that. Nothing is more difficult than to expose or annihilate 
a falsehood. It spreads like wild-fire, and the clearest 
demonstration of its falsity fails to reach a tithe of those 
who believe it. However, it is needless to speak of it now. 
You know what I wish you to do if danger comes get the 
boys away, and conduct them to the place I have indicated. 
If they are from home seek them and take them . there. 
Do not waste time in vain attempts to succour me. If you 
are attacked, and this may possibly be the case, make, I 


pray you, no resistance save such as may be needed to get 
away. Above all, do not try to interfere on my behalf. 
One man, though endowed with supernatural strength, can 
not overcome a mob, and your trying to aid me would not 
benefit me, and might cost you your life, and so deprive 
Chebron and Amuba of their protector." 

Jethro promised strictly to follow the instructions he had 
received, and to devote himself in case of need solely to 
insuring the safety of the boys. 

Two days later, Ameres sent Chebron and Amuba away 
to the farm, and told them to remain there until he sent 
for them. 

" You cannot go in and out here without unpleasantness," 
he said, " and had best be away. Your presence here can 
be of no use, and you are probably quite as much suspected 
as I am. As to your mother and sister, the present state of 
things is inconvenient to them, but that is all. There can 
be no danger for them; however violent a mob they would 
not molest females." 

" Why should not you also, father, go away until the 
trouble is passed?" 

"I cannot leave my duties, Chebron; nor would it benefit 
me if I did. I am convinced that this cry against us is a 
mere pretext which has been seized by enemies who dare 
not attack me openly. Were I to depart from Thebes my 
absence would be denounced as a proof of my guilt, and 
the people be inflamed more and more against me, and 
nowhere in Egypt should I be safe. My only course is to 
face the storm, trusting to the integrity of my life, to the 
absence of any deed which could offend the great God I 
believe in, and to the knowledge that my life is in his hands. 
When it is his will, and not before, it will return to him 
who gave it me." 

" Could you not apply to the king for guards'? " 

" The king spoke to me yesterday at the termination of 
the council," Ameres replied, "and told me that he had 


been informed of the murmurs of the populace against me. 
He said that as one of his most trusted counsellors, and as 
a high-priest of Osiris, he knew that the charges against me 
were baseless; but that in view of the proneness of the 
people of Thebes to excitement and tumult, he should be 
glad to order a company of soldiers to keep guard over my 
house. I refused. I said that I was conscious of no evil, 
that none could say that I was slack in my ministrations 
in the temple, or that I had ever spoken a word in disre 
spect of our religion. That as for the disappearance of the 
sacred cat, of which so much had been made, I had had 
no hand in it, and that whatever had happened to it had 
been, I was sure, the result of accident. Were I to have 
soldiers placed to guard me it would be a confession that 
I was conscious of ill-doing, and knew that I had forfeited 
the protection of the gods. It would, too, help to keep up 
the talk and excitement, which I trusted would die away 
ere long." 

Chebron did not think of further questioning the orders 
of Ameres, and an hour later he and Amuba rode out to 
the farm. Before they started Ameres had a long talk with 
Chebron, and told him that he had placed him in charge 
of Jethro, in the event of any popular outbreak taking 

"Kemember, Chebron," he said, "that whatever comes of 
this affair you are not to blame yourself for the accident of 
killing the cat. All things are in the hands of the great 
God, and your arrow would not have struck the twig and 
flown straight to the heart of that creature had it not been 
his will. Moreover, you must always remember that the loss 
of this cat is but a pretext for the tumult. 

" The populace believe that they are angry on account of 
the loss of the sacred cat, whereas, in fact, they are but in 
struments in the hands of my enemies. I have no doubt 
whatever now that the plot you overheard in the temple 
was directed against my life, and had not the loss of the 


cat happened opportunely and served them as a lever 
with which to work against me, the plot would have taken 
some other form. I trust sincerely that whatever fate may 
befall your sister she may never have to marry the son of 
the man who has plotted against my life. But it is no use 
thinking of that now. Should aught happen before we 
meet again, remember I have placed you in the hands of 
Jethro, and have delegated my authority to him. He is 
shrewd, strong, and courageous, and can be relied upon to 
do what is best. In Amuba you will find a friend who will 
be as a brother to you. So farewell, my son, and may the 
great One who rules all things keep you ! " 

A stay at the farm had hitherto been regarded by Chebron 
as a delightful change from the city, but upon this occasion 
he proceeded there sad and depressed in spirit. 

" Even here we are watched, you see, Chebron," Amuba 
said as they rode along. " Do you see those runners behind 
us? Doubtless they will follow us to the farm, and set a 
watch upon us there. However, there, at least, they can 
search as much as they like, and find out nothing." 



THE days passed slowly at the farm. The lads went 
out listlessly to watch the cattle treading in the seed 
and the other operations on the lands, but they were too 
anxious as to what was going on in the city to feel the 
slightest interest in the work of the farm. The second and 
fourth days after their coming, Jethro had paid them a 
short visit to say that there was no change in the situation. 
The officer in command of some troops whom the king had 


sent down to within a short distance of the house had come 
down to the mob as they were shouting outside the gate, 
and threatened them with the severe displeasure of the 
king unless they desisted from their demonstrations, but 
had been answered with shouts, "The gods are above all 
kings, and not even kings can protect those who insult 
them." Amense, he said, on the occasion of his second 
visit, had left the house and taken up her abode with some 
relations in the city, declaring that the anxiety and dis 
grace were killing her. She had wished to take Mysa with 
her, but the girl had positively refused to leave her father; 
and as her mother seemed indifferent whether she went or 
stayed she had had her way. In a private talk with Amuba, 
Jethro said: 

"It is a relief to us all that she has gone; she was bad 
enough before you went, but for the last three days she has 
been doing nothing but weep and bewail herself till the 
house has been well nigh unbearable. Ameres goes back 
ward and forward between his house and the temple, walk 
ing unmoved through those gathered near his door, who are 
for the most part quiet when he passes, being abashed by the 
presence of one who has so long been held in high esteem 
among them. As for Mysa she seems to think only of her 
father. The Hebrew girl is a great comfort to her, for 
while the example of their mistress and the shouts of the 
populace have terribly scared the other maids, and they go 
about the house in fear and trembling, Euth is quiet and 
self-contained as if she were again in her quiet cottage with 
her grandfather. She greatly comforts and sustains Mysa, 
and Ameres said to me only this morning that Mysa was 
fortunate indeed, in that Chebron had furnished her with 
so brave and steadfast a companion at a time like this." 

On the evening of the fifth day Jethro came suddenly in 
at the house. The boys started to their feet as he entered, 
for they saw at once that something terrible had happened. 
His face was stained with blood, his breath came short, for 


he had run for the six intervening miles between the farm 
and the city at the top of his speed. 

"Quick, my lord!" he said, "there is not a moment to 
lose. The whole matter has been discovered, and ere long 
they will be here in pursuit of you." 

"What of my father 1 ?" Chebron exclaimed. 

"I will tell you all about it afterwards, Chebron. There 
is no time for talking now, his orders must be instantly 
carried out. Where are the fellows who are spying over 

" One of them is probably seated outside at the entrance 
to the farm. You must have passed him as you entered," 
Amuba replied. " I have not seen more than one at a time 
since they first came." 

"Take up your arms and follow me," Jethro said, taking 
a heavy staff from the corner of the room, and, followed by 
the lads, he went outside the gate. 

It was now getting dark, and as they passed out a man 
standing near approached as if to see who they were. With 
out a word Jethro sprang forward and brought down the 
staff with tremendous force upon his head, and he fell with 
out a cry upon the road. 

" There is no fear of his giving the alarm," Jethro said 
grimly, and set off in a run in the direction of the city at a 
pace that taxed the powers of Chebron to keep up with. 
Once or twice as he ran the boy gasped out a question as to 
his father's safety, but Jethro did not appear to hear him 
but kept on at a steady pace. 

Presently he stopped suddenly and listened. A vague 
confused sound was heard in front of them, and Jethro 
quitted the road and took his course over the fields. 
Amuba heard the sound increase, and was presently con 
scious that a crowd of people were passing along the road. 

" It is well I managed to get through," Jethro said. " They 
would have made short work of you both had they arrived 
at the farm and found you unprepared." 


Jethro did not return to the road but kept on in an 
oblique line towards the foot of the hills near the city. 

" Where are you going, Jethro? " Amuba asked at last. 

"I am going to Chigron, the embalmer. Ameres has 
arranged with him to hide you there for the present." 

The boys knew the place, for they had more than once 
been there to watch the process of embalming the bodies 
and preparing them for burial. It was an extensive estab 
lishment, for Chigron was one of the most celebrated em- 
balmers of the day; and not only did he embalm but he 
kept with him men who performed the further processes 
required, namely, the wrapping up in the mummy cloths, 
and the construction of the great cases and the placing the 
bodies in them ready to be handed over to their friends. 
These were usually distinct and separate trades, the embalm- 
ers generally returning the bodies to the friends after they 
had completed the process of embalming. Another set of 
men then prepared the corpse for burial, while the mummy- 
cases or sarcophagi were prepared by men of another trade. 
Of the three trades that of the embalmers was held in by 
far the highest respect, the work being considered as sacred 
and the embalmers ranking and associating with the 

In Chigron's establishment the men of the three trades 
worked apart and separate from each other; and, although 
Chigron was in fact at the head of all, he personally super 
intended only the embalming, the men of the other trades 
being directed by their own masters, and it was as if the 
three establishments had been placed near each other simply 
for the purpose of convenience. 

When they reached the house of Chigron Jethro went 
forward alone and knocked at the door. An attendant pre 
sented himself. " Give this ring to Chigron," Jethro said, 
"and say that the bearer of it would fain speak to him 

In two or three minutes Chigron himself came out. 


" I have brought the lads hither in obedience to the order 
of Ameres," Jethro said. " He told me that he had arranged 
the matter with you." 

"And Ameres himself?" Chigron asked. 

" He is no more," Jethro said. " The villains who sought 
his ruin have triumphed, and a furious mob this afternoon 
broke into his house and murdered him. Chebron does not 
know it yet, though he cannot but suspect that something 
terrible has happened, as I would not answer his questions 
fearing that he might break down when his strength was 
most needed." 

The Egyptian uttered an exclamation of sorrow. 

"Fools and madmen!" he exclaimed, "in all the land 
none were more worthy of honour than Ameres. He was 
just and generous, ever ready to befriend those who needed 
his aid, calm in judgment, and powerful in council. Surely 
the gods must be angry with Egypt when they suffered such 
a one to fall a victim to the passions of the mob. But where 
are the lads'? I myself will conduct them to the place I 
have already prepared. The workers have all left, so there 
is no fear in passing through the house." 

At Jethro's call the lads came up. 

" Follow me, my lord," Chigron said to Chebron, " I have 
had everything in readiness for your reception for some 
days. Would that your visit had been made on some more 
cheerful occasion." 

The embalmer led the way through the portion of the 
house occupied by himself, then he entered a large apart 
ment whose floor was covered with saw-dust. 

Here on slabs of stone lay a number of bodies of those in 
the first state of preparation, while in a still larger apart 
ment behind were a number of stone baths each long enough 
to contain a body. These were occupied by the corpses 
which had undergone their first state of preparation, and 
which were now lying covered with a strong solution of salt 
and water. Beyond again were other chambers for the 


reception of bodies embalmed by other processes than that 
of salt. 

Passing through a door at the rear the lads found them 
selves in the open air again. Above them the hill rose in a 
precipitous rock. Chigron led the way along the foot of 
this for some little distance, and then stopped at a portal 
hewn in the rock itself. All this time he had carried a 
lighted lamp, although the chambers in which the dead were 
lying was illuminated with lamps hanging from the ceiling. 
Upon entering the portal and closing the door behind him 
he produced from a niche in the wall several other lamps, 
lighted them, and gave one to each of his companions. 

"This," he said, "was cut by a wealthy inhabitant of 
Thebes centuries ago as a tomb for himself and his family. 
What happened to him I know not, but the place was never 
used beyond this chamber, which has been utilized for mum 
mies of sacred animals. Beyond in the main chamber every 
thing is as it was left by those who formed it. There I have 
during the last ten days privately stored up such articles as 
would be necessary for you, and I trust that you will not 
find yourself uncomfortable." 

Upon entering the apartment, which was some twenty feet 
square, they found that the embalmer had not exaggerated 
what he had done. A table with several settles stood in the 
middle, three couches piled with rushes were placed against 
the wall. Mats had been laid down to cover the floor and give 
warmth to the feet, and lamps ready for burning stood upon 
the table. In a corner stood two jars of wine, with drinking 

"All is here except food," Chigron said. "That I could 
not prepare until I knew you were coming; but be assured 
that you shall be served regularly. There is no fear of 
intrusion from any employed in the establishment. They 
have no occasion to come out to the back of the house, and 
probably few know of the existence of this tomb. Should 
I have any ground for believing that there is danger, I 


will take other measures for your concealment. Should 
you need anything, do not hesitate to say so. I owe my 
position to the patronage of my lord Ameres, and there 
is nothing I would not do to ensure the safety of his son. 
And now, my lord, I will retire, and will presently send 
you by a trusty servant the food of which I have no doubt 
that you stand in need." 

Chebron said a few words in thanks, but he was too 
anxious and full of grief to say more. Directly Chigron 
had left he turned to Jethro. 

" Now, Jethro, tell me all ; I am prepared for the worst. 
My dear father is no more? Is it not so?" 

" It is too true, Chebron," Jethro replied. " Your noble 
father has been killed by a base and cowardly mob urged on 
by some villains of the priesthood." 

Chebron threw himself down on one of the couches and 
wept bitterly, while Amuba was almost as deeply affected, 
for Ameres had behaved to him with the kindness of a 
father. It was not until the following morning that Chebron 
was sufficiently recovered to ask Jethro to relate to him the 
details of his father's death. 

"I was in the garden," Jethro began. " Mysa and Euth 
were in a boat on the pond, and I was towing them when I 
heard a tumult at the gate. I pulled the boat ashore, and 
hurried them up to the house and told Mysa to retire to her 
apartment, and that she was not to leave it whatever noise 
she might hear, that being her father's command. Then I 
went out to the gate. Just as I got there it fell in, and a 
crowd of people rushed through. As there were only myself 
and two or three of the gardeners who had run up we could 
do nothing to stop them. Just as they reached the house 
your father came out into the portico and said, 'Good people, 
what will you have?' 

" Those in front of him were silent a moment, abashed by 
his presence and the calm manner in which he spoke, but 
others behind set up the cry 'Where is the sacred cat? We 


will find it!' while others again shouted out 'Down with the 
impious priest ! ' Ameres replied, ' You can search the place 
if you will; though, indeed, it seems that you need not my 
permission, seeing that you have taken the matter into your 
own hands. Only I pray you enter not the house. There 
are the ladies of my family and other women there, and I 
swear to you that neither alive nor dead is the cat to be 
found there.' 

"The cry was raised, 'Let us search the garden!' In all 
this it struck me that there were two parties among the mob 
the one ignorant and bigoted, believing really that an 
offence had been committed against their gods; the other, 
men who kept in the background, but who were the moving 
spirits. I was not pleased when I saw the crowd so readily 
abandon the idea of searching the house and scatter them 
selves over the garden, for it seemed to me that from one of 
the gardeners or others they might have obtained some sort 
of clue that might put them on the road to discovery. I saw 
that several among the crowd had with them dogs trained 
for the chase, and this made me more uneasy. I told one of 
the men to run at once and summon the troops, and then 
followed the crowd. 

" I was the more uneasy to see that without wasting time 
in searching elsewhere they made straight to the inclosure 
where the animals were kept. No sooner did they get there 
than they began to search, urging on the dogs to assist them. 
Suddenly I started, for there was a touch upon my shoulder, 
and looking round I saw Ameres. ' Eemember my instruc 
tions, Jethro,' he said in a quiet voice; ' I commit Chebron 
to your charge.' 

'"Oh, my lord!' I exclaimed, 'why are you here? The 
troops are but a short distance away. Why do you not 
place yourself under their protection?' 

'"Because I have done no wrong, Jethro,' he replied 
calmly. 'I have not offended the gods, nor have I ever 
wronged one of my countrymen. Why should I fly?' 


"At this moment there was a yell of rage among the 
crowd, and I knew that one of those accursed hounds must 
have smelt the dead cat and scratched the earth from over 
it. Then I heard a voice cry above the rest, 'See! even now 
the wounds are manifest; it has been pierced by an arrow, 
even as I told you. The sacred cat has been slain!' Then 
the crowd turned. 'Fly, Jethro,' Ameres said. 'It is my last 

" But even then I could not obey him. There was death 
in the eyes of those who were rushing towards him shouting 
' Down with the despiser of the gods ! Down with the slayer 
of the sacred cat!' and seeing that, I rushed at them. After 
that all was confusion. I had caught up a staff from the por 
tico as I passed, and with it I struck right and left. Many fell, 
I know, before they closed with me. Blows were showered 
upon me, and the staff then fell from my hands, but I fought 
with my naked fists. Several times I was beaten down, but 
each time I rose again. Then, as in a dream, I seemed to 
hear your father's command, ' I commit Chebron to your 
care,' and I burst my way through them and threw myself 
upon a group standing further on, but I saw as I broke 
through them that I could do nothing there. 

" Your father lay on the ground looking as calm and 
peaceful as when he had spoken to me but five minutes 
before; but his white garments were stained with blood, and 
the haft of a dagger stood up just over his heart. There was 
no time to see more. His last commandment was to be 
obeyed, and shaking off those who tried to hold me, and 
evading the blows aimed at me with their knives, I fled. As 
I rushed out through the gate I saw the troops I had sent 
for coming towards the house. But they were too late now; 
besides, some of my pursuers were close behind me, and so 
without a pause I took the road to the farm. I think that is 
all I have to tell you." 

Chebron was weeping bitterly, and Amuba, who was him 
self deeply affected, went over to him. 


"Console yourself, Chebron. I know what you are feeling 
now, but do not blame yourself too greatly for this calamity. 
You know what your father said that it was but an acci 
dent, and that it was doubtless the will of the great God that 
your arrow should fly as it did ; and he himself declared that 
he believed that all this was but the result of conspiracy, and 
that, as we heard in the temple, there were men determined 
to take his life." 

A few minutes later the embalmer entered bringing them 
food. He saw at once that Chebron had been informed of 
the fate that had befallen his father. 

"Have you heard aught of what is passing in the city?" 
Amuba asked him. 

"Yes," Chigron answered; "naught else is talked about. 
Many of those concerned in the deed escaped either by the 
entrance before the soldiers arrived there, or over the walls; 
but many were seized, and are now in prison for their sacri 
legious deed in raising their hand against the person of the 
high-priest of Osiris. There were tumults in the city during 
the night, many maintaining that the deed was well done, 
others the contrary. 

"Those who had been taken all declared that they had 
been informed by one who said he knew it for certain that 
the cat was buried in the inclosure, and that it had been slain 
by you and my young lord here, as you had been seen going 
with your bow and arrows to the inclosure and were there 
for some time, after which the cat was never seen again. The 
general opinion is that though the prisoners taken will be 
punished some with flogging, some with death your lives 
are also assuredly forfeited, and that even the friendship 
of the king for your father would not avail to protect you, 
for that he like others must obey the law, and that the law 
of Egypt is that whosoever shall take the life of a cat shall 
be slain." 

"I am perfectly willing to die," Chebron said; "and my 
greatest regret now is that I did not follow my first impulse 


and denounce myself as the accidental killer of the cat. No 
blame could have then been attached to my father or to any 
but myself." 

" The disgrace would have fallen upon your whole family," 
the embalmer said; "for those nearly related to one who 
performed an impious action must needs suffer with him. 
Not that I blame you, Chebron; for I know that your father 
did not do so. He told me when he arranged that I should, 
if needs be, furnish you with a hiding-place, that although 
you might need a refuge it would be for no fault of your own. 
I do not understand how he could have said so, seeing the 
terrible guilt of even accidently taking the life of a cat, and 
specially of this cat, which was sacred above all others in the 
land. Still I know your father's wisdom equalled his good 
ness; and although I own that I cannot understand his 
saying, I am content to accept it, and will do all in my 
power to save you. Doubtless the search after you will be 
a hot one, but we must hope for the best." 

" I will go out and see what is doing," Jethro said. "It 
may be that it will be more safe to move away at once than 
to remain here." 

"In that case," the embalmer said, "you will need to be 
disguised before you start. It is known that Ameres had 
two fair-skinned slaves, and that one of them was concerned 
with my young lord here in the matter; also that the other, 
after fighting furiously in the garden, and, as I heard, slay 
ing several of his master's enemies, managed to make his 
escape. Fortunately I have the materials at hand. We use 
paints and stains in abundance for the sere clothes of the 
dead and the decorations of their coffins, and I can easily 
make you as dark as any of our people. That, with one of 
my wigs and Egyptian garments, will alter you so that, so 
long as you do not look anyone fairly in the face, there will be 
no fear whatever of your discovery; but you must not look 
up, for even when I have blackened your lashes the lightness 
of your eyes would at once betray you." 

(481) O 


In half an hour Jethro was transformed into a middle-class 
citizen of Thebes, and started on his mission of inquiry. 
During the day some officials came to the establishment and 
made many inquiries after the missing lads. Not contented 
with denials, they went through the whole buildings, ex 
amining all the chambers closely. 

"It is known," they said to Chigron, "that they several 
times came here, and that Ameres was a patron of yours. It 
is our duty to search any house where shelter might have 
been given them, though we can hardly believe that any 
one would hold communication, far less receive into his 
house, persons guilty of such an act of sacrilege as they have 
been. However, there is no chance of their escaping us. 
Messages have been sent all over Egypt Moreover, as they 
had no horses they cannot have gone far. Yours is the first 
house we have searched, for the servants all say the same 
that the son of Ameres was frequently here." 

"He was not here very frequently," Chigron replied, 
" though he certainly came sometimes, and was interested in 
watching the various processes." 

Chebron had, in fact, been several times to the embalmer's. 
Amuba had accompanied him, although he himself would 
have preferred staying away, for to him the whole scene was 
repulsive. Chebron's temperament differed, however, widely 
from that of his friend. The dead were sacred in Egypt, 
and all the rites and ceremonies connected with them bore a 
religious character. They had no fear of death, and deemed 
it but a sleep that would last three thousand years. It was 
for this reason that the bodies of human beings and the 
sacred animals were so carefully embalmed and laid away 
either in massive tombs or rock-hewn caverns. 

They believed, and as has been proved rightly, that the re 
mains so carefully prepared, would endure for that time, and 
thought that when the spirit returned to it it would resume 
its former shape in all particulars. Thus the dead of all 
ranks were embalmed; the process, however, in the case of 


the wealthy differing widely from that to which the bodies of 
the poorer classes were submitted. There were many kinds 
of embalming, varying according to the means of the family 
of the deceased; The process employed for the wealthy 
was a long and expensive one. First, an official called a 
scribe marked on the side of the corpse where an aperture 
should be made; this was cut by another person, who after 
doing so fled, pursued with execrations and pelted with 
stones, as although necessary the operation was considered 
a dishonourable one and as an injury to a sacred body. 

Through this aperture the embalmers removed the whole 
of the internal organs, which, after being cleansed and em 
balmed in spices, were deposited in four vases, which were 
subsequently placed in the tomb with the coffins. Each of 
these vases contained the parts sacred to a separate deity. 
The body was then filled with aromatic resin and spices, and 
rubbed for thirty days with a mixture of the same in 
gredients. In the case of the very wealthy the whole body 
was then gilt; in other cases only the face and portions of 
the body. The skin of the mummy so preserved is found 
to be of an olive colour, dry and flexible as if tanned; 
the features are preserved and appear as during life, and 
the teeth, hair of the head, and eyebrows are well pre 

In some cases, instead of the aromatic resin, the bodies 
were filled with bitumen; in others saltpetre was used, the 
bodies being soaked in it for a long time and finally filled 
with resin and bitumen. In the second quality of mummies, 
those of persons of the middle class, the incision was not 
made, but resin or bitumen was used and the bodies soaked 
in salt for a long time. In the case of the poorer classes 
the bodies were simply dipped into liquid pitch. None of 
these, however, were treated in the establishment of Chigron, 
who operated only upon the bodies of the wealthy. 

After the preparation was complete the body passed from 
the hands of the embalmers into those of another class who 


enveloped it in its coverings. These were linen bandages, 
which in the case of the rich were sometimes a thousand 
yards in length. It was then inclosed in a sort of case 
fitting closely to the mummied body. This case was richly 
painted, covered in front with a net-work of beads and 
bugles arranged in a tasteful form, the face being overlaid 
with thick gold-leaf and the eyes made of enamel This 
again was placed in other cases, sometimes three or four in 
number, all similarly ornamented with painting and gilding, 
and the whole inclosed in a sarcophagus or coffin of wood 
or stone, profusely decorated with painting and sculpture. 
It was then handed over to the family of the deceased, and 
afterwards taken in solemn procession across the sacred lake, 
followed by the mourning relatives throwing dust upon 
their heads. 

Every Egyptian city had a lake of this kind, either natural 
or artificial Notice was given beforehand to the judges and 
public of the day on which the funeral would take place, and 
these assembled at the side of the lake, where the decorated 
boat in readiness for the passage was lying. Before the coffin 
could be placed upon the boat it was lawful for any person 
present to bring forward his accusation against the deceased. 
If it could be proved that he had led an evil life the judge 
declared that the body was deprived of the accustomed 
sepulture. If the accused failed to establish his charge he 
was subject to the heaviest penalties. If there was no 
accuser, or if the accusation was not proved the judge de 
clared the dead man innocent. The body was placed in the 
boat and carried across the lake, and then either taken to 
the family catacombs or to the room specially prepared for 
its reception in the house of the deceased. 

The greatest grief and shame were felt by the family of 
those deprived of the right of sepulture, for they believed 
that thereby he was excluded from the mansions of the 
blest, and that in the course of the transmigrations through 
which his spirit would pass before it again returned to a 


human form, it might be condemned to inhabit the body of 
an unclean animal. 

As none from the lowest to the very highest rank could 
escape the ordeal of public accusation after death, there 
can be little doubt that this ceremony exercised a most 
wholesome effect upon the life of the Egyptians, and was 
most efficacious in repressing tyranny, cruelty, and vice of 
all kinds among them. Even the most powerful kings were 
restrained by the knowledge that should they give cause of 
complaint to their subjects they were liable after death 
to be accused and deprived of the right of lying in the 
mighty tombs they had so carefully prepared for their 

Chebron's brain, therefore, while he was watching the pro 
cess of embalming, was busy with thoughts and fancies as to 
the future of the spirit that had inhabited the body he looked 
at. Had it already passed into the body of some animal? 
Was it still disconnected and searching for an abode? 
Through what changes would it pass and how long would 
be the time before it returned to this human tenement? 
For the three thousand years was believed to be the 
shortest period of transition through the various changes 
in the case of the man of the purest and most blameless 
life, while in other cases the period was vastly extended. 

As Amuba was not gifted with a strong imagination, and 
saw in the whole matter merely the preservation of a body 
which in his opinion had much better have been either 
buried or placed on a funeral pile and destroyed by fire, 
these visits to the embalmers had constituted the most un 
pleasant part of his duties as Chebron's companion. 

Jethro had anticipated when he left that his visit to the 
city would be of short duration, and that he should return 
in an hour at the latest; but as the day passed and night 
fell without his return the lads became exceedingly anxious 
and feared that something serious had taken place to detain 
him. Either his disguise had been detected and he had 


been seized by the populace, or some other great misfortune 
must have befallen him. 

It had been arranged indeed that they should that night 
have started upon their journey, and Jethro after his return 
was to have made out a list of such articles as he deemed 
necessary for their flight, and these Chigron had promised 
to purchase for him. Their plans, however, were completely 
upset by his non-appearance, and late in the afternoon 
Chigron himself went down into the city to ascertain, if 
he could, if Jethro had been discovered, for his name had 
been associated with that of the boys. It was not believed 
indeed that he had taken any actual part in the slaying of 
the cat, but it was deemed certain from his close connection 
with them, and his disappearance shortly before the time 
they had suddenly left the farm, that he was in league with 
them. Chigron returned with the news that so far as he 
could learn nothing had been heard of Jethro. 

No other subject was talked of in the city but the event 
of the previous day, and the indignation of the people was 
equally divided between the murderers of Ameres and the 
slayers of the sacred cat. The boys were full of grief and 
perplexity. To Amuba Jethro had taken the place of an 
elder brother. He had cheered him in the darkest moment 
of his life and had been his friend and companion ever since, 
and the thought that ill might have befallen him filled him 
with sorrow. With this was mingled an intense anxiety as 
to the future. Without Jethro's strong arm and advice how 
was this terrible journey to be accomplished ? 

Chebron was in no state either to act or plan. A deep 
depression had seized upon him; he cared not whether he 
escaped or not, and would indeed have hailed detection 
and death as boons. Intense, therefore, was Amuba's relief 
when late in the evening a footstep was heard in the outer 
chamber, and Jethro entered. He sprang to his feet with a 
cry of gladness. 

" Oh, Jethro ! thank the gods you have returned. I have 


suffered terribly on your account. What has happened to 
you, and so long delayed your return here?" 

" There is fresh trouble," Jethro replied in a stern voice. 

"Fresh trouble, Jethro 1 In what way?" And even 
Chebron, who had scarcely sat up languidly on his couch 
on Jethro's entrance, looked up with some interest for 
Jethro's answer. 

" Mysa has been carried off," he replied grimly. 

Chebron sprang to his feet. He was devoted to his sister, 
and for a moment this new calamity effaced the remem 
brance of those which had preceded it. 

"Mysa carried off!" he exclaimed at the same moment as 
Amuba. "Who has done it 1 ? when was it done 1 ? how 
did you learn it?" were questions which broke quickly from 
the lads. 

" On leaving here I went as arranged down into the city," 
Jethro replied. " There was no difficulty in learning what 
there was to learn, for all business seemed suspended and 
the streets were full of groups of people talking over the 
events of yesterday. The whole city is shaken by the fact 
that two such terrible acts of sacrilege as the slaying of the 
sacred cat of Bubastes and the murder of a high-priest of 
Osiris should have taken place within so short a time of 
each other. All prophesy that some terrible calamity will 
befall the land, and that the offended gods will in some way 
wreak their vengeance upon it. A royal order has been 
issued enjoining all men to search for and arrest every 
person concerned in the murder of Ameres, and doubtless 
the severest penalties will be dealt to them. The same 
decree orders your arrest wherever found, and enjoins upon 
all officials throughout the kingdom to keep a strict watch 
in the towns and villages, to examine any strangers who 
may present themselves, and to send hither bound in chains 
all young men who may fail to give a satisfactory account 
of themselves. Sacrifices will be offered up at all the temples 
throughout the land to appease the wrath of the gods. 


Messengers have been despatched in all directions in the 
provinces, and all seemed to consider it certain that in a 
few hours our hiding-place would be discovered. All made 
sure that we had made either for the sea-coast or the desert 
on one side or the other, and as the messengers would reach 
the coast long before we could do so, it was considered im 
possible for us to get through unnoticed. 

"Then I went to the house, not intending to go in but 
simply to see if those in the neighbourhood had heard any 
further news. The gates were open, and quite a crowd of 
people were passing in and out to gratify their curiosity by 
gazing on the scene. Eelying upon my disguise I went in 
with the rest. None entered the house, for a guard of 
soldiers had been stationed there. I passed round at the 
back and presently Lyptis the old female slave came out to 
fetch water. I spoke to her in my assumed character, but 
she only shook her head and made no reply. Then be 
lieving that she, like all the others in the house, was at 
tached to the family and could be trusted, I spoke to her in 
my natural voice, and she at once knew me. I made a sign 
to her to be silent and withdrew with her alone to some 
bushes. The tears were streaming down her face. 

"'Oh, Jethro!' she exclaimed, 'did the gods ever before 
hurl such calamities upon a household? My dear master is 
dead; my lord, Chebron, is hunted for as men hunt for a 
wild beast; my dear young mistress, Mysa, is missing!' 

" 'Missing!' I exclaimed. ' What do you mean?' 

" 'Have you not heard it?' she said. 

'"I have heard nothing!' I cried. 'Tell me all!' 

" ' Just after the gates were beaten down and the crowd 
rushed along into the garden, four men burst into the house 
and ran from chamber to chamber until they entered that 
of my young mistress. We heard a scream, and a moment 
later they came out again bearing a figure enveloped in a 
wrapping. We strove to stop them, but there were nought 
but women in the house. They struck two of us to the 


ground, and rushed out. Some of us ran out into the garden 
crying for aid, but there we saw a terrible scene. A great 
struggle was going on, and presently you broke forth, covered 
with blood and wounds, and ran swiftly past. None heeded 
us or our cries. 

" 'When the soldiers arrived we told the officer what 
had happened; but it was too late then, and nothing could 
be done. Had there been a guard over the house all these 
things would never have happened.' 

" I asked her if she could describe to me the appearance 
of the men. She said that they were attired as respectable 
citizens, but that from their language and manner she be 
lieved that they were ruffians of the lowest class. 

" For a time I was so overwhelmed with this news that I 
could think of nothing, but went out and roamed through 
the streets. At last I bethought me of the girl Euth. She 
was with Mysa at the time, and might, if questioned, be 
able to tell me more than the old woman had done. I 
therefore returned, but had to wait for three hours before 
old Lyptis came out again. 

"'I want to speak to Ruth,' I said. ' Send her out to me.' 

" 'Euth has gone,' she said. 

" ' Gone !' I repeated. ' Where and whither 1 ?' 

" ' That we know not. It was not until hours after Mysa 
was carried off that anyone thought of her. We were too 
overwhelmed with grief at the death of our dear lord and 
the loss of Mysa to give a thought to the young Israelite. 
Then one asked, where was she? No one had noticed her. 
We went to Mysa's chamber, thinking that the villains who 
carried our young mistress off might have slain her; but 
there were no signs of her there.' 

"'But she was with Mysa, was she not,' I asked, 'when 
the attack was made 1 ? Did she not pass in with her when 
she came in from the garden 1 ?' 

"'Yes,' she replied, 'they came in together and passed 
through us; for we were gathered in the front chamber, 


being greatly frightened at the clamour at the gate. As 
they passed us our young mistress said, 'Keep silent, what 
is the use of screaming and crying?' " 

" I asked if she was sure Ruth was not carried off as well 
as Mysa. 

" ' Quite sure,' she said. 'One bore a figure and the other 
three cleared the way.' 

" 'And that was the last time,' I asked, 'that any of you 
saw the Israelite?' 

"'It was,' she answered. 'She must have passed out by 
the door at the end of the passage, which she might well 
have done without being observed by any of us.' 

" This was a new mystery. Why Ruth should have fled 
I could not guess, because as soon as the soldiers appeared 
there was no more danger in remaining. Besides, I did not 
think Ruth was one to shrink from danger. However, there 
was no more to be learned, and I again went out into the 



T)ERHAPS Ruth had gone to tell my mother that Mysa 
JL was lost," Chebron suggested, when Jethro had gone so 
far in his story. 

" That ! could hardly have been," Jethro replied, " for I 
should have told you that your mother returned early this 
morning to the house with many relatives, and that all were 
weeping and mourning round the body of your father. Had 
Ruth gone to her, she would either have returned with her, 
or Lyptis would have heard where she was." 

"Did you hear how my mother bore her misfortunes, 


"She was overwhelmed with grief, Lyptis said, at youi 
father's death so overwhelmed that she seemed to have no 
thought for anything else. She had, of course, been told 
the night before that Mysa was missing; but it seemed to 
make no impression upon her. She only said that doubtless 
friends had carried her off to save her from the danger that 
Chebron's wickedness had brought upon us all. This morn 
ing she made some further inquiries, but did not seem in 
any serious alarm; but the magistrates, when they came 
last night to inquire into the whole matter, took note of 
Mysa having been carried off, and when on their coming 
again this morning they found that nothing had been heard 
of her, gave orders that a search should be made for her, 
and a proclamation was issued this afternoon denouncing 
punishment on those who carried her off, and enjoining all 
who could give any information on the subject to present 
themselves before them immediately. 

" Since I came out from the house I have been wandering 
about trying to think what is best to be done, and hoping 
that something might occur to me which would put me 
upon the track of the villains who carried Mysa off." 

"You do not think of carrying out our plans for to-mor 
row, Jethro?" Chebron asked anxiously. "We could never 
go away from here in ignorance of what had become of her." 

"Certainly not, Chebron. I consider it my duty, as well 
as my inclination, to stay here until she is found. Your 
father spoke to me of her as well as of you, but as he did 
not see any way in which we could aid her he said that she 
must take her chance meaning, take her chance under the 
guardianship of your mother to obtain some day a husband 
whom she could love. But the present misfortune entirely 
alters the case. She has need of our active help, and what 
ever are the risks we must postpone our start. 

"Whether you will be able to stay here or not is doubtful. 
Each day that passes without news being received of your 
capture in the provinces north of us, will increase the belief 


that you are hiding somewhere in the neighbourhood of the 
city, and in that case the search will become more and more 
earnest. However, for a day or two we may be safe here. 
As to that, however, we must abide by Chigron's opinion. 
He is running no small risk in concealing us here, and if he 
considers the danger is becoming greater than he is willing 
to run, we must betake ourselves to the hills. There are 
lonely spots there where we could lie concealed for a long 
time, or, at least, as long as such supplies of food and water 
as we could carry with us hold out. But, at any rate, we 
must set aside all thought of flight for the present, and de 
vote all our energies to the discovery and rescue of Mysa." 

" I do not think we have far to look for the contrivers of 
the outrage," Amuba said. "It seems to me that it is of 
a piece with the whole of the misfortunes that have befallen 
us. We know that Ameres refused the request of Ptylus 
for Mysa as a wife for his son. After that came the plot 
which we overheard in the temple for the murder of some 
one. The knowledge that they were overheard put a stop 
to that scheme. Then came the stirring up of the people, 
partly by the story of that unfortunate cat, partly by whispers 
that Ameres, although high-priest of Osiris, was yet a scorner 
of the gods. Then came the attack upon the house, in which, 
while the main body of the mob attacked Ameres, a chosen 
band carried off Mysa. 

"This villain, Ptylus, had several motives to spur him 
on. In the first place, there was anger at the rejection of 
his son's suit; next, that he would, at the death of Ameres, 
naturally succeed to the high-priesthood; thirdly, he may 
have thought that if he could obtain possession of Mysa 
and marry her to his son, she would bring with her no 
small portion of her father's lands as a dowry. With the 
influence which he, as high-priest, would have with the king 
and council he could rely upon her obtaining a share of the 
estate, especially as the villain would calculate that Chebron 
as well as his father would be put out of the way. 


" He has only to keep Mysa immured until his power as 
high-priest is consolidated, and then if he gain the consent 
of the king to the match Mysa could not refuse to accept 
the fate prepared for her." 

" I think that you have accurately reasoned out the case, 
Amuba, and that we have penetrated the whole conspiracy. 
The question is, what are we to do?" 

"It must not be, Jethro!" Chebron cried excitedly, pacing 
up and down the chamber. " Mysa cannot bear Plexo. She 
spoke of him with something like horror when she heard 
of the proposal Ptylus made. I do not like him myself. He 
is thin-lipped and crafty and cruel Mysa had better be 
dead than married to him." 

"I think I can promise you, Chebron," Jethro said grimly, 
" that that marriage shall never come about. We may not 
find Mysa, who may be hidden either in Ptylus's house, or 
in one of the many chambers of the temple, or in the caves 
near it; but, at any rate, I can find Plexo, and before we 
leave Egypt I will slay him as well as his father, whom I 
regard as the murderer of Ameres. I may not be able to 
do this and to get away, and in that case you must journey 
alone; but I am not going to quit Egypt and leave them to 
enjoy the gains of their crime." As he finished speaking 
Chigron entered. 

" I was coming in to see if Jethro had returned." 

He was told the reasons for his prolonged absence the 
abduction of Mysa, and the determination to remain and 
search for her place of concealment. He shook his head. 

"It is a rash resolution. Even were you free to come 
and go as you choose, your chance of finding out her hiding- 
place would be small indeed hunted as you yourselves are, 
your quest seems to be an absolutely hopeless one. As to 
your remaining here long, I think it would be madness. 

" It is not only for myself that I say this, but for you. In 
the first place, there are so many men employed here that 
your coming in and going out would be sure to be noticed by 


someone; in the second place, the cave would scarcely escape 
search a second time. Were it not for my workmen I could 
conceal you in the house; and if I saw men in search of you 
approaching I could place you in one of the inner casings of 
the mummies, and put two or three more casings on. Then, 
lying as you would be among a number of corpses in a simi 
lar state of advancement towards burial, none would think 
of opening the cases. 

" But with so many people about it would be well-nigh 
impossible to do this without observation unless, indeed, 
the search was made at night or after the workmen had 
departed, which would hardly be likely to happen. There 
fore I think it impossible for you to stay here more than 
another day or two; but there are many caves and burial- 
places higher up on the hill-side where you might be con 
cealed. In many of these there are sarcophagi. If we 
choose one in which there are several coffins I can remove 
the mummies and their casings into another cave, so that, 
should a party of searchers approach the place, you can lie 
down in the sarcophagus and lower the lid down upon 

" It would be sacrilege to move the dead," Chebron said 
with a shudder. 

"It would be sacrilege for others," Chigron replied, "but 
not to us, whose business and duty it is to handle the dead. 
I can replace the mummies in their cases after you have 
left, and they will be none the worse for their temporary 
removal. It will be necessary, of course, that there should 
be no signs of habitation in the cave nothing to excite 
their suspicions that it has been disturbed." 

" I think that is a very good plan," Jethro said. "We 
can make sleeping-places in the open air near. We shall 
sleep in the open air on our journey, and it would be no 
hardship to begin at once. I should think it best to remove 
to one of these caves at once. There is never any saying 
when the searchers may be here again; therefore if you will, 


Chigron, I will at early daybreak go with you, choose a 
cave, and make our arrangements." 

"I think, indeed, that that will be the best plan," the 
embalmer agreed. "I will, of course, take care to bring 
you up every night a store of provisions. And now I will 
leave you to sleep." 

It was long, however, before the occupants of the chamber 
threw themselves upon their piles of rushes. Sometimes 
they talked of Mysa, and discussed all possible plans for 
discovering where she was concealed. Then they wondered 
what had become of Ruth, who would be friendless in the 
great city, and might not have money sufficient to buy a 
meal with her. 

" She had her ornaments," Jethro said; "a silver bracelet 
that Mysa gave her she always wore. She had two silver 
necklaces and ear-rings of her own. I should think they had 
been handed down to her from her mother; they seemed 
good and would fetch money. Kuth is a shrewd little maid; 
for though but fifteen years old she has long been accus 
tomed to manage a house and look after her grandfather. 
Why she has run away I cannot think, except that perhaps 
from the noise and tumult she thought that all were going 
to be killed. But even in that case she would probably 
have found her way back by this morning, if not sooner." 

" I cannot help thinking myself," Chebron said, " that she 
has followed Mysa. Although she has not been here for 
many months, I am sure that she was very fond of her." 

"That she certainly was," Jethro said. "I often thought 
when I was walking behind them that it was pretty to see 
them together. Mysa knew so much more of everything; 
and yet it was the Hebrew maid who gave her opinion most 
decidedly, and Mysa listened to her as she talked in that 
grave way of hers as if she had been an elder sister. And 
you think she might have followed her] I hope that it 
may have been so. But in that case the women must have 
seen her." 


"The women were scared out of their senses," Chebron 
said, " and, I have no doubt, were screaming and wringing 
their hands and attending to nothing else. If I could but 
be sure that Ruth is with Mysa I should feel less anxious, 
for I am certain she would be a comfort and support to her." 

" She would, indeed," Jethro agreed. " And moreover I 
should have greater hopes of finding where they are con 
cealed; for if it be possible to get away and to spread the 
alarm I am sure that Ruth would seize the first opportunity 

It was but a short time after they lay down that Chigron 
entered and said that morning was beginning to break 
They at once rose and followed him. He led them along 
the foot of the hill for some distance, and then turning 
began to ascend at a spot where it sloped gradually. They 
passed many tombs, partly erected with masonry and partly 
cut out from the rock behind; and it was not until after 
walking fully half an hour that he stopped before the 
entrance of one of them. 

" This is the one that I thought of as being suitable for 
the purpose," he said. "It is one of the most lonely, and 
there is little likelihood of any chance passer coming near 
it. In the second place, I know that the stone door which 
rolls across the entrance has not been cemented in its place. 
I know indeed to whom the tomb belongs. The last mummy 
was placed here but a short time back; and the son of the 
man then buried told me that he should not have it cemented 
because his wife was grievously sick, and he feared would 
shortly follow his father. Therefore there will be no diffi 
culty in effecting an entry. In the second place, there is 
hard by a small tomb that was cut in the rock and then 
left the owners changing their minds and having a larger 
tomb made lower down the hill. As nothing beyond the 
chamber and the narrow entrance were made, we can there hide 
the mummies from this chamber and heap stones and earth 
over the entrance, so that none would suspect its existence." 


"Nothing could be better," Jethro said. "Let us set to 
work and prepare it at once." 

The stone across the entrance to the tomb, which was but 
three feet high and of the same width, was pushed back 
without difficulty and they entered. Four wooden sarco 
phagi stood there. Jethro aided Chigron in opening three 
of these. The mummies in their cases were taken out, the 
outer cases opened and replaced in the coffins after the 
mummies with the inner cases had been removed from 
them. These were then carried to the unfinished tomb fifty 
yards away and there deposited. Stones were then piled 
together so as to conceal the entrance, and the men re 
turned to the tomb. 

"Here you will be perfectly safe," Chigron said. "You can 
keep the stone rolled back unless you see anyone approach 
ing; and you would be sure to make out any considerable 
number of searchers mounting the hillside long before they 
reach you. Should you see them, you will of course close 
the door, enter each of you one of the sarcophagi, lie down 
in the inner case, close the lid of the sarcophagus, and place 
the lid of the inner case over you. I think it unlikely in 
the extreme that any search will be made for you, or at any 
rate a search only of untenanted tombs. The fact of the 
stone here being left uncemented is a mere accident pro 
bably known only to myself and its owner. It is only as 
an extreme resource that you could need to take to these 
hiding-places. As far as passers-by are concerned you might 
remain outside altogether, but in that case you would run 
some risk of being noticed. You may be sure that the hills 
will be closely scanned, and if figures were seen moving 
about here a party might set out to see whether these were 
the fugitives so eagerly sought for. Therefore I say, during 
the daytime keep yourselves concealed here. As soon as 
it is dark you can of course issue out and pass the night 
wherever you may think fit." 

"We shall certainly follow your advice," Jethro said. 

(481) P 


"Undoubtedly the plan you propose is by far the safest. 
I cannot think that there is much chance of an earnest search 
being made among the tombs, though likely enough they may 
visit those which are open and empty; but as you say, they 
would never dream of examining the tombs in use, as they 
would naturally suppose that all were securely fastened. 
In case of the very worst, there are the coffins for us to 
betake ourselves to; and these, assuredly, no one would 
think of examining." 

"If you will come down," Chigron said, "as soon as it is 
dark, I will give you provisions for some days, together with 
the peasants' dresses I have prepared for you and the money 
Ameres committed to my charge. It is not likely that any 
thing will occur to decide you to make a move suddenly, 
but it is best that you should have everything in readiness 
for so doing should the occasion possibly arise. I will come 
up myself to-morrow night, if all is well, an hour after sun 
set. I name the time exactly in order that if you sleep at 
any distance away you can be here at that hour to meet 
me; and now I leave you to the protection of the gods. 
This evening I shall dismantle the chamber you have used 
and remove all signs of its having been inhabited." 

Chebron thanked the embalmer very earnestly for the 
kindness he had shown them, the trouble he had taken, and 
the risk he had run on their behalf. 

"I would have done more if I could," Chigron said. 
"Your father's son has the highest claims upon me, and were 
it to half my fortune I would spend it to carry out the last 
wishes that Ameres expressed to me." 

As soon as the embalmer left them the three friends sat 
down just within the entrance to the tomb, looking out over 
the quiet city lying in the plain below them. 

" I wish we had our peasant dresses," Chebron said, " that 
we might go down with you and join in the search for 

"It would be too dangerous," Jethro said decidedly. 


" Too many have seen you taking part in the services and 
procession for you to have a chance of passing unnoticed. 
Amuba is less likely than you to be detected, and if his skin 
was stained, his eyebrows blackened, and his head shaved, 
he might manage to pass providing he walked with his eyes 
fixed on the ground; but in that way he would not have 
much chance of coming upon traces of Mysa. 

"Any search you make must be at night. I shall to-day 
station myself near the house of Ptylus. I do not expect 
to gain any information from gazing at the high wall which 
surrounds it, but I will follow, as closely as I can without 
attracting observation, all the slaves or servants who may 
come out, especially if two issue forth together; I may then 
catch a few words of their talk, and possibly gather some 
clue to the mystery. Still I own that the chance is small, 
and you must not look forward in any way to my returning 
with news." 

"I wish, Jethro," Chebron said, "that if possible you 
would again go to our house, see the old woman, and get 
her to bring out to you a suit of my priests' garments; with 
these I could at night enter the temple, and wander un 
questioned through the chambers and courts. The nights 
are dark now, and unless I pass close to a lamp none could 
recognize me. We overheard one conversation of importance 
there, and it may be that I could overhear another." 

"There would be danger in the attempt," Jethro said 

" That matters not at all ! " Chebron exclaimed impetuously. 
" All this trouble has come upon us through me, and even 
should there be some slight risk I would willingly face it; 
but in truth I think there is no chance whatever of my 
being recognized. See how often Amuba went there with 
me, and though the nights were always moonlit we never 
were once addressed, nor was it noticed that Amuba was 
not one of the regular attendants of the temple, who alone 
have a right to penetrate beyond the great courts." 


" So be it then," Jethro said. " Then you shall explore 
the temple, Amuba and I will search every cavern in the 
hills. There are many great tombs behind the temple, and 
just as we have selected such a hiding-place, Ptylus may 
have chosen one as a place of concealment for Mysa. There 
are many tombs there built by princes, nobles, and wealthy 
priests for their reception after death which could be turned 
into a comfortable dwelling. After we have spent some time 
in searching there, we must, if unsuccessful, try further away. 
Ptylus, no doubt, like Ameres, has country farms and resi 
dences, and she may be hidden in one of these." 

" I believe myself," Amuba said, " that a better plan than 
yours will be for us to establish a watch over Plexo. Pty 
lus has his duties and is no doubt fully occupied in securing 
his election to the high-priesthood, but Plexo would most 
probably go sometimes to see Mysa in her place of imprison 
ment; he will naturally be anxious to conciliate or frighten 
her into giving her consent to marry him as soon as possible. 
Therefore, if we can but watch him sufficiently closely he is 
sure to lead us at last to her." 

" That will certainly be the best way, Amuba. I did not 
think of it before, but it is clearly the plan that promises 
the best chance of success. We might search the country 
for years without finding her; and although I wished to 
keep up your hopes, I really despaired in my own mind. 
But, as you say, if we follow Plexo, sooner or later he is 
sure to bring us to her. But to do so we shall want many 
disguises. I will think the matter over as I walk to-day, 
and when I see Chigron this evening will beg him to get 
the disguises that seem to him the best for us to use." 

" As for me, Jethro," Chebron said, " I will visit the temple 
of an evening, as I said. But long before midnight all will 
be quiet there; so that will give me plenty of time for sleep, 
and in the daytime I will work with you. Get me the 
garb of a peasant woman. In such a dress and with a female 
head-covering I could surely get myself up so that even 

A LONG DAY. 229 

those who know me best would pass by without suspicion. 
Many women are taller than I am. The disguise would be 
out of the question for Amuba, who is well nigh as tall as 
you are, besides being wide and strong looking, but for me 
it would do well." 

" Yes, I think you could pass as a woman," Jethro agreed; 
" and certainly the more of us there are to watch this rascal 
the better. But for myself I think that we are more likely 
to succeed by night than by day. Plexo, too, has his duties 
in the temple, and would be likely to pay his visits after dark. 
Then it would be a mere question of speed of foot, and 
Amuba and I used to be trained in running, and it will be 
a swift horse that will outpace us. And now I am going 
down to the city. I feel more hopeful than I did, lads, and 
for the first time begin to think that we have a chance of 
discovering where the villains have carried Mysa." 

The day passed slowly to Chebron and Amuba. They 
would not show themselves outside the tomb, as Chigron 
had earnestly begged them not to do so; besides there 
were frequently people about on the hillside, for many came 
daily to offer prayers at the tombs of their relatives. Still 
they had much to talk of the chances of finding Mysa; the 
question with whom she should be placed if recovered ; the 
prospects of the long and adventurous journey which lay 
before them. Amuba encouraged talk on all these points, 
and started the conversation afresh whenever it dropped, for 
he saw that the excitement concerning Mysa had done a 
great deal for Chebron. It had weaned his thoughts from 
the death of his father, and the consequences that had arisen 
from his unfortunate shot; it had given him fresh subject for 
thought, and had revived his spirits and interest in life. 
Both lads were glad when, late in the afternoon, they saw 
Jethro ascending the hill. 

" I have no news," he said, as he came up to them. " I 
have been all day in the neighbourhood of the house of 
Ptylus, and have followed all who came out two together 

230 NO NEWS. 

from it I have overheard many scraps of conversation, 
and one and all talked upon the same subject, the death of 
Ameres and of the sacred cat, and the want of success in 
the search for you. The fact of Mysa being carried off was 
spoken of once or twice; but I was convinced by the manner 
in which the slaves spoke to each other on the subject that 
they had not the slightest idea that their master was con 
cerned in the matter, and they had assuredly no knowledge 
whatever of her being in the house. 

" Of course it is possible that she might be there without 
its being generally known to all the slaves. Still you know 
how things leak out in a household, and how everything 
done by the master and mistress soon becomes public pro 
perty; and had anyone among them heard something un 
usual was going on, it would by this time have been known 
to all the servants. I hardly thought that Ptylus would have 
ventured to have her carried home, for he might suppose 
that her mother's suspicions might be directed towards him 
just as ours have been, and that if she made a complaint 
against him a search of his house might be ordered; besides 
there are too many servants there for a secret to be kept. 
No, if a clue is to be obtained it will be in the temple or by 
our following Plexo." 

As soon as it was dark they descended the hill together. 
Chebron had attired himself in the garments bearing the dis 
tinguishing marks of the priesthood that Jethro had brought 
up with him, having obtained them from old Lyptis. When 
near the house of the embalmer the lad stopped, and Jethro 
went on and returned in half an hour with the various dis 
guises he had asked Chigron to obtain for him. All these, 
with the exception of the scanty attire of two peasants, he 
hid for the present in some bushes near the path, then he 
rubbed Amuba's skin and his own with a fluid he had ob 
tained from Chigron; and after putting on the peasants' 
clothes they took their way towards the house of Ptylus. 

While Chebron went towards the temple, which was but 


a short distance from the house, Jethro and Amuba sat down 
by the wall close to the gate so that none could leave it 
without their knowledge. But beyond servants and visitors 
no one came out At ten o'clock they heard the bolts of 
the gates fastened, but remained where they were until near 
midnight, when Chebron joined them. He had spent the 
time wandering from court to court of the temple, but be 
yond a solitary priest moving here and there replenishing 
the lamps of the altars he had seen no one, and had been 
himself entirely unnoticed. Amuba and Chebron were both 
inclined to be dispirited at the want of success of their 
watching, but Jethro chid them for their impatience. 

" You do not suppose," he said, " that you are going to find 
out a secret so well hidden by a few hours' watching. It 
may be weeks before we succeed. To-morrow we will begin 
our watch two or three hours before sundown. I am better 
known to the servants at the house of Ptylus than you are, 
as I have often taken messages there; besides in my disguise 
I could not so well loiter about without attracting attention 
as you could. I will, therefore, content myself with watch 
ing the northern road from the city upon the chance of his 
taking that way, while you in your dress as peasants can 
watch the house itself. You, Chebron, might sit down by 
the wall fifty yards from the house on the north side, while 
you, Amuba, had best keep on the other side of the road and 
somewhat to the south of the gate. In this way you will 
be within sight of each other and yet not together; solitary 
figures are less likely to attract attention than two together, 
for it is for two boys that people would be looking. As I 
should scarcely know you myself now that your skins are 
darkened, there is, I trust, small fear of others detecting 
your disguise." 

Accordingly the next day, three hours after noon, Amuba 
and Chebron, disguised as peasants, went down to the house 
of Ptylus and took their posts as arranged. Late in the 
afternoon Amuba noticed that one of the slaves from the 


house of Ptylus suddenly checked his walk as he passed 
Chebron and gazed fixedly at him. Amuba left the spot 
where he was standing and walked quickly in that direction. 
The slave spoke to Chebron, who rose to his feet. A moment 
later the slave seized him. As they were struggling Amuba 
ran up. 

"Here is a find!" the slave exclaimed. "This is the 
slayer of the sacred cat. Aid me to drag him into the house 
of my master." 

But to his surprise Amuba sprang upon him and struck 
him such a heavy blow in the face that he released his hold 
of Chebron and staggered backwards. 

" Run for your life !" Amuba exclaimed to his friend. " I 
will take another route." 

The slave, recovering from his blow, rushed at Amuba, 
shouting at the top of his voice: 

"Death to the insulters of the gods! Death to the slayers 
of the sacred cat!" 

But Amuba, who was now eighteen years of age, was at 
once stronger and more active than the slave, whose easy 
life in the household of the priest had unfitted him for such 
a struggle. Springing back to avoid the grasp of his assail 
ant, Amuba struck him with all his strength in the face, 
and as he reeled backwards repeated the blow, and the man 
fell heavily to the ground. But several other people, at 
tracted by the conflict and the shouts of the slave, were 
running up, and Amuba took to his heels at the top of his 
speed. As he expected, the passers by paused to assist the 
fallen man and to learn the cause of the fray before they 
took up the pursuit, and he was nearly two hundred yards 
away when he heard the cry again raised, " Death to the 
slayer of the sacred cat!" 

By this time he was alongside of Chebron, who had paused 
to see the issue of the contest with the slave. 

"Do you turn off, Chebron, and take a turning or two and 
conceal yourself, and then make your way up to the hill I 


will keep straight on for a while. I have more last than you 
have and can outrun these fellows, never fear. Do as I tell 
you," he said almost angrily, as he saw that Chebron hesi 
tated when they reached the next turning. "If we keep 
together they will overtake us both." 

Chebron hesitated no longer, but took the turning indi 
cated. Amuba slackened his speed now, judging correctly 
that his pursuers if they saw they gained upon him would 
not trouble themselves about his companion, of whose 
identity they were probably still ignorant. When, on look 
ing back, he saw that all had passed the turning, he again 
quickened his speed. He was not afraid of being overtaken 
by those behind him, but that he might meet other people 
who, seeing the pursuit, would take him for a fugitive from 
justice, and endeavour to stop him. One or two did indeed 
make feeble attempts to do so, but did not care to grapple 
in earnest with a powerful young man, evidently desperate, 
and of whose crime they knew nothing. 

As soon as he felt sure that Chebron was quite safe from 
pursuit, he turned off from the road he was following and 
struck across the country. A quarter of an hour's running 
took him fairly beyond the villas and detached houses scat 
tered so thickly round Thebes. The ground here was closely 
cultivated. It was intersected everywhere by channels con 
veying the water needed for the irrigation of the crops. The 
holdings were small, and in the centre of each stood a little 

Some of these were inhabited, but for the most part the 
cultivators lived in the villages, using the huts only when it 
was necessary to scare away the birds and keep a close watch 
over their fruit. In some of these patches the fruit-trees 
were thick, and Amuba took advantage of the cover to turn 
off at right angles to the course he had been pursuing, and 
then shaping his course so as to keep in shelter of the trees, 
ran until he arrived at a hut whose door stood open. A 
glance within showed that it was not at present used by 


the owner. He entered and closed the door behind him, 
and then climbed up a ladder, and threw himself down on 
some boards that lay on the rafters for the storage of fruit, 
pulling the ladder up after him. 

The last glimpse he had of his pursuers showed him that 
they were fully four hundred yards behind him when he 
turned off from the line he had been following, and he 
would have kept on and trusted to his speed and endurance 
to outrun them had he not been sure that many of the cul 
tivators whom he had passed in his flight, and who had 
contented themselves with shouting threats at him for cross 
ing their land, would, on learning from his pursuers the 
crime with which he was charged, join in the pursuit. Thus 
fresh runners would be constantly taking up the chase, and 
he would eventually be run down; he therefore thought it 
best to attempt to conceal himself until night fell. 

Scarcely had he thrown himself down when he heard 
loud shouts rise close at hand, and had no doubt that some 
labourer unobserved by him had noticed him enter the hut. 
He sprang down again from the loft, and seizing a stake 
which with several others was standing in a corner, he 
again sallied out. As he did so he was suddenly grasped. 
Twisting himself free he saw a powerful Nubian armed with 
a hoe. Without a moment's hesitation Amuba sprang at 
him with his stake. The Nubian parried the blow with his 
hoe, and in turn dealt a sweeping blow at the lad. 

Amuba sprang back just in time, and before the negro 
could recover his guard, struck him a heavy blow on the 
wrist with his stake. The negro dropped his hoe uttering 
a cry of pain and rage. Amuba followed up the blow on 
the wrist with one on the ankle, and as the man fell, bounded 
away again. But the negro's shouts had been heard, and 
the pursuers were now but fifty yards away. Amuba saw 
that their numbers had swollen considerably, and a doubt 
as to his ability to escape them for the first time entered his 


They were too close for any further attempts at conceal 
ment, and lie had now only his speed to rely on. But he 
had already run nearly three miles, while many of those 
behind him were fresh, and he soon found that he could 
not again widen the space between them. For another two 
miles he still kept ahead, at first leaping the ditches 
lightly and without a pause, but at last often landing in the 
middle, and scrambling out with difficulty. He was becoming 
completely exhausted now. Those who had at first taken up 
the chase had long since abandoned it; but, as he had feared, 
fresh men constantly joined the ranks of his pursuers. They 
were but a few paces behind him when he found himself 
again on the high road. 

A few hundred yards away he saw a chariot approaching, 
and feeling that further flight was hopeless he turned stake 
in hand to face his pursuers, who were but a few paces be 
hind him. With cries of "Kill him !" "Death to the insulter 
of the gods !" they rushed at him. Panting and breathless he 
defended himself as best he could. But his guard was beaten 
down, and blows were showered upon him. 

He fell, but with a great effort struggled to his feet again; 
his senses were fast deserting him now, but he was con 
scious that the chariot drew up beside him, scattering his 
assailants right and left. He heard a voice raised in tones 
of indignant reproach, and then a renewal of the cries of 
hatred. He felt strong arms round him; then he was lifted, 
and for a time became unconscious. 

236 "WHO ARE YOU?" 



WHEN Amuba recovered his senses he was lying in a 
heap at the bottom of the chariot. Two men were 
standing in the car beside him. The one he supposed to be 
the driver, the other the owner of the chariot. 

In a few minutes the chariot turned off through a stately 
gateway. The driver leapt down and closed the gates, and 
then led the horses to the steps leading up to a splendid 
mansion. The man beside him called out, and two or three 
slaves ran down the steps. Then he was lifted out, carried 
into the house, and laid upon a couch. A cup of wine was 
placed to his lips, and after he had drunk a slave bathed 
his head with cold water, and bandaged up the numerous 
cuts from which blood was flowing. 

This greatly refreshed him, and he raised himself on his 
arm. An order was given, and the slaves left the apart 
ment, and Amuba looking up saw a tall and stately figure 
standing before him. He recognized him at once, for he 
had seen him following the king in one of the processions 
among the princes of Egypt. 

"Who are you? and is it true what those men whom I 
found maltreating you averred, that you are the slayer of 
the Cat of Bubastes?" 

" My name is Amuba, my lord," the lad said striving to 
stand upright, but his questioner signed to him to remain 
seated. " I am a Rebu taken prisoner of war, and handed 
as a slave to Ameres, high-priest of Osiris. I am not the 
slayer of the cat, but it is true that I was present at its 
death, and that it might just as well have been my arrow 
that accidentally pierced it as that of him who did so." 

" Then it was an accident," the noble said. 


"It was wholly an accident, my lord. We fired at a 
hawk that had been thinning the pet birds of my master's 
daughter. One of the arrows struck a tree, and glancing 
off entered the house in which the cat was kept and unfor 
tunately caused its death. We regretted the accident 
bitterly, knowing how sacred was the animal in the sight of 
the Egyptians." 

"And not in your sight, young man? You are not yet a 
follower of the gods of the Egyptians?" 

"I am not, my lord," Amuba answered; "but at the same 
time I would not upon any account have willfully done 
aught to offend the religious opinions of others, although 
I myself have not been taught to consider the life of a cat 
as of more value than that of other animals." 

"Then you worship the gods of your own people 1 ?" 

Amuba was silent for a moment. 

" I would answer frankly, my lord, an;.l I hope that you 
will not be displeased. Since I have come to Egypt I have 
come to think that neither the gods of the Egyptians nor 
the gods my fathers worshipped are the true gods. I be 
lieve that there is one great God over all, and that the 
others are but as it were his attributes, which men worship 
under the name of gods." 

The Egyptian uttered an exclamation of surprise. 

" Whence did you obtain such a belief as this?" he asked. 

Amuba was silent. 

"It must have been from Ameres himself," the noble 
went on, seeing that the lad was reluctant to answer. " I 
knew him well, and also that he carried to an extreme the 
knowledge he had gained. But how came it that he should 
speak of such matters to you a slave?" 

" My master was good enough to make me a companion 
and friend to his son rather than a servant to him," Amuba 
replied, "partly because he thought that I should lead him to 
a more active life, which he needed, for he was over studious; 
partly because I had high rank in my own country, of 


which my father was the king. But he never spoke of this 
matter until after the accident of the cat. My friend Chebron 
was utterly cast down at the sin that he thought he had 
committed, and would at once have denounced himself, 
preferring death to living with such a burden upon his 
mind. Then his father, seeing that his whole life would 
be embittered, and that he would probably be forced to fly 
from Egypt and dwell in some other land, told him the 
belief which he himself held. I believed this all the more 
readily because I had heard much the same from an Israelite 
maiden who served my master's daughter." 

Again Amuba's listener uttered an exclamation of sur 

" I knew not," he said, after a pause, " that there was an 
Israelite who still adhered to the religion of their ances 
tors V 

"The maiden told me that for the most part they had taken 
to the worship of the Egyptians, and indeed, so far as she 
knew, she was the last who clung to the old belief. She 
had been brought up by a great-grandfather who had been 
driven from his people and forced to dwell apart because he 
reproached them for having forsaken their God, and he 
instructed her in the faith he held, which was that there 
was but one God over all the earth." 

"Do you know who I ami" the noble asked abruptly. 

" I know that you are one of the princes of the land, my 
lord, for I have seen you in a procession following closely 
behind the king with his sons and other princes." 

" I also am an Israelite. It seems strange to you, doubt 
less," he went on, as Amuba started in astonishment at 
hearing a prince of Egypt declare himself as belonging to 
the hated race. "Many years ago, at the time I was an 
infant, there was a great persecution of the Israelites, and 
as is supposed my father and mother, fearing for my life, 
placed me in a little cradle and set me afloat on the water. 
It chanced or was it chance or the will of God? that the 


water took me to the spot where the Princess Thermuthis, 
the daughter of the then king, was bathing with her 
maidens. She had compassion upon me and adopted me, 
and as I grew up I had all the rights and privileges of her 
son, and rank, as you say, with the princes of Egypt. She 
called me Moses; for that was the name, as it seems, that 
was writ upon a piece of papyrus fastened to my cradle. I 
was instructed in all the learning of the Egyptians, and 
grew up as one of them. So I lived for many years, and had 
almost forgotten that I was not one of them; but now " and 
here he stopped and began thoughtfully to pace up and 
down the apartment. 

"What has become of the maiden of whom you spoke?" 
he asked, suddenly stopping before Amuba 

" That I know not, my lord. Upon the day that Ameres 
was murdered by the mob his little daughter was carried off, 
and Ruth, for that is her name, has also been missing ever 
since. It is for that reason we have lingered here, other 
wise we should have fled at once." 

"You and the son of Ameres]" 

" Yes, my lord, and another Rebu, one of my father's 
warriors, who was a fellow-captive with me, and also slave 
of Ameres. The high-priest had great confidence in him, 
and committed to him the mission of aiding Chebron to 
escape, and of conducting us if possible back to my own 
land; but when we found that my young mistress was 
missing we decided to remain to search for her." 

" What will you do when you find her?" 

"If we can rescue her from those who have carried her 
away we shall hand her over to her mother, and then leave 
the land as we had intended. Unless, indeed, you, my lord, 
in your goodness, could obtain for Chebron a pardon for an 
offence which was wholly accidental." 

"That I can never do," Moses said. "This is wholly 
beyond my power; the king himself could not withstand 
the demand of the populace for his life. Until lately I 


might have in some way aided you, but I have no longer 
influence, and have myself fallen into disgrace at court." 

After again pacing the apartment for some time, Moses 
went on : 

" If you find this little Israelite maiden tell her that she is 
not the last of the Israelites who believes in the God of 
Abraham, our ancestor; tell her that Moses also holds to 
the faith. You again look surprised young man, and you 
may well be so, seeing that I have from the days of my 
infancy been separated from my people. 

"But our priests keep accurate records of all things 
connected with the countries and religion of the people 
with whom we come in contact. Thus, then, it was easy 
for me, who have access to all the stores of knowledge, to 
examine the rolls recording the first coming of my people, 
the rule of Joseph the great governor, the coming of his 
relations here and their settlement in the country. Thus I 
learned that they worshipped one God, whom they believed to 
be the only God in the world. I have been interested 
deeply in the learning of the priesthood, and have long seen 
that behind all the forms and mysteries of the Egyptian 
religion this central idea seemed to be hidden. None with 
whom I have spoken acknowledged boldly that it was so; 
but I heard reports that Ameres was bold enough to enter 
tain the idea that there was but one God, and that our far- 
back ancestors, who had first worshipped him under the 
various attributes they ascribed to him, came in course of 
time to lose the truth altogether and to regard shadows as 
substances. Therefore, I said to myself, I too will believe 
in the one God worshipped by my forefathers, hoping that 
in time it may be that I may learn more of him. 

" Until the last two or three years I have been content to 
live as one of the Egyptian princes; but of late my heart 
has turned much to my oppressed people, and I have deter 
mined upon doing what I can to relieve their burden. I 
have even raised my voice in the council in their favour, and 


this has created a coldness between the court and myself. 
They consider that I, having had the honour of adoption 
into the royal family, should myself forget, and allow others 
to forget, what they regard as my base origin. Sometimes 
I own, that I myself wonder that I should feel so drawn 
towards them, and even wish that I could forget my origin 
and give my whole mind to the duties and pleasures of my 
present rank; but I feel moved by a spirit stronger than my 
own. But we must talk no longer, I see that you are now 
stronger. Do you think that you can walk]" 

" Oh, yes," Amuba replied, getting up and walking across 
the apartment. " I have not lost much blood, and was only 
dizzy from their blows." 

"Then it is better that you should leave at once. The 
people from whom I snatched you will have carried the news 
speedily to the city, and officials will, doubtless, soon arrive 
here to demand that you be given up to them. Take, there 
fore, another draught of wine and a piece of bread, I will 
then give you in charge of a trusty slave who will lead you 
through the garden and through a small door at the back, 
and will guide you to any spot where you may wish to go. 
Even now, doubtless, a watch is being kept up in the front of 
the house. When the officials arrive I shall tell them the 
truth that, coming, as I drove, upon a lad who was being 
attacked and murdered by a number of brutal peasants, I 
carried him off in my chariot. As to the shouts I heard, that 
you were the slayer of the Cat of Bubastes, I regarded it as 
an invention designed to hinder me from interfering on your 
behalf; that I questioned you upon your arrival here, and 
finding that, as I had supposed, you were entirely innocent 
of the offence charged against you, I urged you to leave at 
once, letting you depart by the garden gate in order to escape 
the fury of your persecutors. As you are not an Israelite no 
one can suppose that I could have any motive for shielding 
an offender from the punishment of his crimes. Do not 
thank me, for time presses, and you must be moving, so as 

(481) Q 


to be well away before it is known that you have left. 
May the God we both worship, though as yet in ignorance, 
guide and preserve you and carry you and your friends 
through the dangers that beset you." 

Moses drew back the curtains from before the entrance to 
the chamber and clapped his hands, and ordered the servant 
who answered the call to tell Mephres to come to him. An 
old slave speedily appeared, and Moses ordered him to take 
Amuba out by the private way, and to guide him by quiet 
roads back to the city. Then cutting short his guest's ex 
pressions of thanks for the great kindness he had rendered 
him, he hurried him away, for he knew that at any moment 
the officials might arrive from the city. 

It was well that Amuba had been supplied with a guide, 
for upon issuing into the night air for by this time dark 
ness had fallen he found that he could with difficulty 
direct his steps ; his head throbbed as if it would split from 
the blows that had been dealt him, and every limb ached. 
The old slave, however, seeing that he stumbled as he 
walked, placed his staff in one of Amuba's hands, and taking 
him firmly by the arm led him steadily on. It seemed to 
the lad that he went on walking all night, and yet it was 
less than an hour after starting when his conductor found 
that he could go no further, and that he was wholly unable 
to answer his questions as to whither he wished to be guided. 
He determined to stop with him until he should be able 
to proceed again. He therefore led Amuba aside into an 
orchard, and there laid him down under the shelter of a 
tree, covering him with one of his own garments. 

" It is well for the lad that my lord arrived just when he 
did," he said to himself as he sat down by the side of 
Amuba and listened to his heavy breathing for all in the 
house had heard from the charioteer of the rescue of the 
lad from the hands of furious peasants. 

"He must have been very near death when he was saved 
from their hands. Maxis said that his assailants shouted out 


that he was the slayer of the Cat of Bubastes about which 
such a turmoil has been made. Had it been so I do not 
think that my lord would have aided him thus to escape; 
though for my part I care not if he had killed all the cats in 
Egypt, seeing that in my native Libya we worship not the 
gods of the Egyptians." 

Several times during the night the old man got up and 
plucked large handfuls of grass wet with dew and placed 
them on Amuba's head, and when he perceived the first faint 
gleam of morning in the sky he aroused him. Amuba sat 
up, and looked round with an air of astonishment. 

" Where am 1 1 " he exclaimed. 

" You are at present in an orchard, my young friend, though 
to whom it may belong I know not; but finding that you 
were unable to continue your journey I drew you aside here, 
and you have slept well all night, and I hope feel better for 
it, and able to proceed." 

"I remember now," Amuba said; "it seemed to me that 
I walked for hours leaning on your arm." 

" It was but an hour," the slave replied; "we are not yet 
two miles from my lord's house." 

"And you have watched over me all night," Amuba said; 
" for it was I know but an hour after sunset when we started. 
Truly I am deeply indebted to you for your kindness." 

" Speak not of it," the old man replied. " My lord gave 
you into my charge, and I cannot return until I can tell him 
that you are in safety. But it you are able to walk we 
must pass on, for there may be a search for you as soon as 
it is light." 

"I am perfectly able to go on," Amuba said; "thanks to 
the wet grass I see you have been piling round my head, the 
heat seems to have passed away and the throbbing to have 

Amuba was indeed now able to walk at a brisk pace. 

" Which way do you want to go ? " the slave asked him in 
a short time. "It is getting light enough now for me to see 


your face, and it will never do for you to meet any one. 
Your head is still swollen, and there are marks of bruises 
and cuts all over the scalp. Your appearance will attract 
attention at once, and if any saw you who had heard of last 
evening's doings you would be at once suspected." 

" I will make direct for the hills," Amuba said. " They 
are not far distant, and I can easily conceal myself among 
the rocks until sunset." 

"Let us hurry on then," the slave said; "it is but half 
an hour's walk. But as we may at any moment now meet 
peasants going to their work, I will go on a-head, do you 
follow a hundred yards behind me. If I see any one coming 
I will lift my hand above my head, and do you at once step 
aside from the road into the vineyard or orchard, and lie 
there until they have passed." 

Amuba followed these instructions, and it was more than 
an hour before he reached the foot of the hills, so often did 
he have to turn aside to avoid groups of peasants. At last 
he reached the foot of the rugged ascent. Here he took 
leave of his guide with many warm thanks for his kindness 
and services, and with a message of gratitude to his lord. 
Then Amuba ascended the hill for a short distance, and 
laid himself down among some great boulders. 

Although greatly refreshed by his night's rest he was still 
weak and shaken, and felt altogether unequal to making his 
way along the hills for the four miles which intervened be 
tween himself and the hiding-place of his friends among the 
tombs above the city. He was soon asleep again, and the 
sun was already some distance down the sky when he awoke. 
He waited until it sank behind the brow of the hill above 
him, and then climbing some distance higher made his way 
along the hillside, having little fear that his figure would be 
noticed now that the hillside was in shadow. Darkness had 
just fallen when he arrived at the tomb they used as their 
shelter. A figure was standing there in deep shadow. As 
he turned the path and approached, it advanced to meet 


him. Then there was a cry of joy, and Jethro sprang for 
ward and clasped him in his arms. 

"My dear Amuba, I never thought to see you in life 
again ! " 

A moment later Chebron ran out, and in his turn embraced 

" I shall never forgive you, and I shall never forgive my 
self," he said reproachfully. " What right had you to take 
my danger upon yourself? It was wrong, Amuba; and I 
have suffered horribly. Even though we are as brothers 
why should you sacrifice yourself for me, especially when it 
is my life and not yours that is forfeited. I told myself a 
thousand times last night that I was base and cowardly in 
allowing you and Jethro to risk your lives for me, when by 
giving myself up the rage of the people will be satisfied, and 
you could make your way out of this land without great 
danger. It was bad enough that you should share my risk, 
but when it comes to your taking it all upon your shoulders 
that I should escape free, I can accept such sacrifice no 
longer; and to-morrow I will go down and surrender my 

Amuba was about to burst into remonstrance, when 
Jethro touched him as a sign to be silent. The Rebu knew 
how acutely Chebron had suffered, and how he had spent 
the night in tears and self-reproaches, and felt that it was 
better to allow his present agitation to pass before arguing 
with him. 

"Are you hungry, Amuba? " he asked. 

" That I am, Jethro. I had nothing save a mouthful of 
bread since our meal here yesterday; and you will get no 
news out of me until I have eaten and drunk." A meal of 
cakes and cool fish and a draught of wine was soon taken; 
and Amuba said, " Now I will tell you all about it." 

" We know the first part," Jethro said. " When I re 
turned here yesterday evening I found Chebron almost be 
side himself with anxiety. He told me how he had been 


discovered by one of the slaves of Ptylus who knew him 
by sight; how you had attacked the slave, rescued him from 
his hands, and then joined him in his flight; how you in 
sisted that you should separate; and how the pursuers had 
all followed on your track, leaving him to return here un 
molested. He had been here upwards of two hours when 
I arrived, and as the time had passed on without your 
return he had become more and more anxious. Of course 
I at once started out to gather news, and had the greatest 
difficulty in persuading him to remain here, for he scorned 
the idea of danger to himself from the search which would 
be sure to be again actively set on foot. However, as I 
pointed out it was necessary that if you returned you 
should find somebody here, he at last agreed to remain. 

"When I got into the town I found the whole city in the 
streets. The news had come that the slayers of the cat had 
been discovered; that one had escaped, but that the other 
had been overtaken after a long chase; and that he had 
been set upon, and would have been slain, as he well de 
served, had not one of the princes of the royal house arrived 
and carried him off in his chariot. This news excited the 
greatest surprise and indignation, and two officers of the 
city had gone out to the prince's mansion, which was six 
miles away from the city, to claim the fugitive and bring 
him to the town, when he would be at once delivered to the 
just anger of the populace. 

"As soon as I learned this I started out along the road 
by which they would return, and hurried on past the people 
already gathered there. I had brought my sword with me, 
and my intention was, that as the chariot returned with you 
I would leap upon it, surprise and slay the officials, and drive 
off with you; for I knew you would be able to take no part 
in making the escape, as I had heard that you were already 
insensible when carried off in the chariot. There were 
groups of people all along the road with torches, but I 
thought that a sudden surprise would probably be successful. 


"At last I heard the chariot approaching. It was being 
driven more slowly than I had expected. As it came to a 
large group of people some distance ahead of me it stopped 
for a moment, and the official addressed the people. There 
was no shout or sound of exultation, and I felt convinced 
at once that either upon their arrival they had found that 
you were already dead, or that in some miraculous way you 
had escaped. I therefore hurried back to the next group. 
When the chariot came up there was a shout of, 'What is 
the news? Where is the malefactor?' The officials checked 
their horses, and replied: 'A mistake has been made. The 
prince assures us that the lad was a poor slave, and wholly 
innocent of this affair. He has satisfied himself that in their 
jealousy for the honour of the gods the peasants who at 
tacked the lad committed a grievous wrong, and fell upon 
a wholly innocent person. After assuring himself of this 
he had had his wounds bound up and suffered him to de 
part. The prince intends to lay a complaint before the 
council against the persons who have cruelly maltreated 
and nearly murdered an innocent person, who, he stated, 
interfered in the matter because he saw a slave attacking 
a young lad, and who fled fearing trouble because of the 
punishment he had inflicted upon the aggressor.' 

"The announcement was received in silence; but when 
the chariot had driven on again there was much murmuring. 
This account had certainly the appearance of truth; for it 
was already known by the narrative of the slave who recog 
nized Chebron that the person who rescued him was a 
youth and a stranger to him, and that it was this youth 
who had been pursued while Chebron himself had escaped. 
Still there was murmuring that the prince should in so im 
portant a matter have suffered the youth to depart without 
a more searching examination. Some said that even if the 
boy's story was true he deserved punishment for attacking 
the slave who had arrested Chebron, while others said that 
as he had certainly been beaten almost to death, he had 


been punished sufficiently. All agreed that no doubt the 
whole affair would be investigated. 

" I hurried back again with the news, and all night we 
watched for you, and when morning came without your 
arrival we were almost as anxious as before, fearing that you 
had been too badly injured to rejoin us, and that to-day you 
would almost certainly be recaptured. As the search for 
Chebron would assuredly be actively carried out, I insisted 
on his remaining quiet here while I made frequent journeys 
down to the city for news; but beyond the certainty that 
you had not been recaptured, although a diligent search had 
been made for you as well as for Chebron, I learned nothing. 
Now, Amuba, I have relieved you of the necessity for much 
talk; you have only to fill in the gaps of the story, and to 
tell us how it was that you persuaded this Egyptian prince 
of your innocence." 

" It is rather a long story, Jethro; but now that I have 
had a meal I feel strong enough to talk all night, for I have 
had nearly twenty-four hours sleep. First, I will tell Cheb 
ron that when I took the pursuers off his track I had no idea 
of sacrificing myself, for I made sure that I should be able 
to outrun them, and I should have done so easily, had it not 
been for fresh people constantly taking up the pursuit and 
at last running me down." 

Amuba then related the whole story of his flight, his 
attack with the peasants and his rescue, and then recited the 
whole of his conversation with his rescuer, and his proceed 
ings after leaving his house. " So you see," he concluded, 
" that strangely enough it was the teaching of your father, 
Chebron, and the tale that Ruth told us, and that her grand 
father before told you, of the God of their forefathers, that 
saved my life. Had it not been that this prince of Israelit- 
ish birth also believed in one God, it could hardly be that 
he would have saved me from the vengeance of the people, 
for as he says he is in disfavour with the king, and his con 
duct in allowing me to go free merely on my own assertion 


of my innocence is likely to do him further harm. This he 
would assuredly never have risked had it not been for the 
tie between us of a common faith in one great God." 

" It is a strange story," Jethro said when Amuba brought 
his narrative to a conclusion, "and you have had a mar 
vellous escape. Had it not been for the arrival of this 
prince upon the spot at the very moment you must have 
been killed. Had he not have been of a compassionate 
nature, he would never, in the first place, have interfered on 
your behalf; and had it not been for your common faith, he 
would have held you until the officials arrived to claim you. 
Then,, too, you were fortunate, indeed, in the kindness of 
your guide; for evidently had it not been for your long rest, 
and the steps he took to reduce the heat of your wounds, 
you must have fallen into the hands of the searchers this 
morning. Above all, I consider it extraordinary that you 
should at the critical moment have been rescued by perhaps 
the one man in Egypt who would have had the will and the 
courage to save you." 

Upon the following morning Jethro and Amuba succeeded 
with some difficulty in dissuading Chebron from his deter 
mination to give himself up, the argument that had the 
most powerful effect being that by so doing he would be 
disobeying the last orders of his father. It was resolved 
that in future as a better disguise he should be attired as 
a woman, and that the watch upon the house of Ptylus 
should be recommenced; but that they should station them 
selves further away. It was thought, indeed, that the search 
in that neighbourhood was likely to be less rigorous than 
elsewhere, as it would not be thought probable that the 
fugitives would return to a spot where they had been recog 
nized. Amuba's disguise was completely altered. He was 
still in the dress of a peasant, but, by means of pigments 
obtained from Chigron, Jethro so transformed him as to 
give him, to a casual observer, the appearance of advanced 


They had had a long discussion as to the plan they would 
adopt, Amuba and Jethro wishing Chebron to leave the 
watching entirely to them. But this he would not hear of, 
saying that he was confident that, in his disguise as a woman, 
no one would know him. 

"We must find out which way he goes, to begin with," he 
said. "After that none of us need go near the house. I 
will buy a basket and some flowers from one of the peasant 
women who bring them in, and will take my seat near 
the gate. By three o'clock Plexo will have finished his 
offices in the temple, and may set out half an hour later. I 
shall see at least which road he takes. Then, when you 
join me at dusk, one of you can walk a mile or two along 
the road; the other twice as far. We shall then see when 
he returns whether he has followed the road any consider 
able distance or has turned off by any cross-roads, and can 
post ourselves on the following day so as to find out more." 

" The plan is a very good one, Chebron, and we will 
follow it. Once we get upon his trail I will guarantee that 
it will not be long before we trace him to his goal." 

Accordingly that afternoon Chebron, dressed as a peasant 
woman, took his seat with a basket of flowers fifty yards 
from the entrance to the house of Ptylus. At about the time 
he expected Plexo and his father returned together from the 
temple. Half an hour later a light chariot with two horses 
issued from the gate. Plexo was driving and an attendant 
stood beside him. Chebron felt sure that if Plexo was going 
to visit Mysa he would take the road leading into the 
country, and the post he had taken up commanded a view 
of the point where the road divided into three one run 
ning straight north along the middle of the valley, while 
the others bore right and left until one fell into the great 
road near the river, the other into that on the side of the 
valley near the hills. It was this last that Plexo took; and 
although he might be going to visit acquaintances living in 
the many villas scattered for miles and miles along the road- 


side, Chebron felt a strong hope that he was going to Mysa's 
hiding-place. As soon as it was dark he was joined by 
Jethro and Amuba. 

" He started at three o'clock!" Chebron exclaimed as they 
came up to him, " and took the road leading to the foot of 
the hill." 

"We will go on there at once," Jethro said. " He may re 
turn before long, and we must hurry. Do you walk quietly 
on, Chebron, and stop at the point where the road ahead 
runs into the main road. Amuba shall stop two miles 
further; I will go two miles further still. If he comes along 
the road past me we will begin at that point to-morrow." 

Jethro had but just reached the spot at which he proposed 
to wait when he heard the sound of wheels approaching, and 
a minute later the chariot drove along. The moon was not 
up but the night was clear and bright, and, advancing as 
close as he could to the passing chariot, he was able to 
recognize Plexo. The latter gave an angry exclamation as 
his horses shied at the figure which had suddenly presented 
itself, and gave a cut with his whip at Jethro. A minute 
later the chariot had disappeared and Jethro returned to 
wards the city, picking up on his way Amuba and Chebron. 

The next night Amuba took up his station a mile beyond 
the spot at which Jethro had seen the chariot, Jethro an 
other mile ahead, while Chebron watched the cross-roads 
near the town; but this time it did not come along, although 
Chebron had seen him start the same hour as before. 

"I hardly expected to see him to-night," Jethro said when 
he joined the others after fruitlessly waiting for three hours. 
"He will hardly be likely to visit her two days in succession. 
He will be more likely to leave her for a week to meditate 
on the hopelessness of refusing to purchase her liberty at 
the price of accepting him as her husband. Doubtless he 
has to-day merely paid a visit to some friends." 

It was not, indeed, until the fourth night of waiting that 
Plexo came along. This time he did not pass Jethro at all, 


and it was therefore certain that he had turned off from the 
main road either to the right or left at some point between 
the post of Jethro and that of Amuba. When this was 
determined they agreed, after a consultation, not to return to 
their hiding-places near Thebes that night, but to lie down 
under some trees by the road-side until morning broke, and 
then to examine the road carefully. It was not likely that 
another chariot would pass before morning, and they might 
be able to follow the tracks along the dusty road. 

In this way they discovered the road where he had turned 
off; but beyond this the tracks did not show, as the road 
was hard and almost free from dust. It lay, as they ex 
pected, towards the hills; but there were so many country 
mansions of the wealthy classes dotted about, and so many 
cross-roads leading to these and to the farm-houses of the 
cultivators, that they felt they were still far from attaining 
the object of their search. 

After some discussion it was agreed that they should 
ascend the hills and remain there during the day, and that 
Jethro should return to the town as soon as it became dark 
to obtain a store of provisions sufficient to last them for 
a week This was done, and the next day they separated 
at dawn and took up their places on the hills at a distance 
of about a mile apart, choosing spots where they commanded 
a view over the valley, and arranging to meet at a central 
point when night came on. 



SIX days passed without their watch being rewarded; 
then Chebron, whose post was just opposite the road 
where they had traced the wheels, saw a chariot turn from 


the main road into it. As many others had taken that 
course every day he did not at first feel very hopeful, 
although the time precisely tallied with that at which Plexo 
should have arrived had he started at the same hour as 
before. As it came near, however, he became convinced 
that it was the vehicle he was looking for. The horses 
tallied in colour with those of Plexo, and the colour of his 
dress could even at that distance be distinguished. This 
time, however, he was not accompanied by a servant, but 
by a figure the whiteness of whose garment showed him 
also to be a priest. "That must be Ptylus," he said to 
himself, "my father's murderer. Would I were down by 
the edge of the road, with my bow and arrows; high-priest 
as he has now become, I would send an arrow through his 

The chariot turned off by the road parallel to that which 
had been followed from Thebes, and so close to the foot of 
the hills that from Chebron's post he could no longer see it. 
As soon as it was out of sight he leapt to his feet and hur 
ried along the hills to join Amuba, whose post was next to 
his own. He found his friend had already gone on, and he 
hurried breathlessly on until he reached Jethro, who had 
been joined by Amuba a few minutes before. 

"Have you seen them?" he exclaimed. 

" I have seen them and marked them down," Jethro re 
plied. "You see that roof among those trees at the foot of 
the hill half a mile further along. They turned off the road 
and entered these trees. Our search is over at last." 

" What had we better do, Jethro? Wait until they have 
left again, and then go down?" 

" No," Jethro said sternly. " There are two things to be 
done the one is to rescue Mysa; the other to punish the 
murderer of Ameres. But even did we determine to delay 
our vengeance I should say we must still press on. You 
saw that arch-villain Ptylus is with his son. He has assuredly 
come for some purpose; probably he may intend to terrify 


the girl until he drives her into taking some solemn oath 
that she will accept Plexo as her husband. What can a girl 
of that age do in the hands of unscrupulous villains like 
these. It may be that this fox Plexo has been trying flat 
tery; and, finding that fail, has called in Ptylus, who can 
threaten her with the anger of these gods of hers, to say 
nothing of perpetual imprisonment and harsh treatment. 
We will therefore push on at once. Amuba and I carry our 
stout peasant staves, while you, Chebron, have your dagger 
concealed under that female dress. We shall have all the 
advantage of surprise in our favour. It is not likely that 
there are more than one or two men there, with perhaps a 
female servant. Ptylus would not wish the secret to be 
known to more than was absolutely necessary. Of course 
it is possible that the four men who carried her off may all 
be on guard there, but if so, it makes but six; and what 
with the surprise, and what with their not knowing how 
numerous we are, that number should not be more than 
sufficient for us to dispose of without difficulty. At any 
rate were there twenty I would not hesitate; honest men 
need never fear an encounter with rogues." 

"Especially," Amuba said, "when the honest men pos 
sess such sinews as yours, Jethro, and a good heavy cudgel 
in their hands." 

Jethro smiled, but was in too earnest a mood to answer, 
and at once led the way along the hillside until imme 
diately behind the house among the trees; then they de 
scended, climbing with some difficulty over the wall surround 
ing the wood, and entered the inclosure. Treading as lightly 
as possible Jethro and his companions passed through the 
wood and made their way up to the house. It was small 
but handsomely built, and was surrounded with a colonnade 
supported by carved pillars. The garden immediately 
around it was evidently carefully tended, and the house, from 
its secluded position, was well fitted as a place of sojourn 
for a wealthy priest or noble desirous of a few days' rest 


and retirement from the bustle of the great city. As 
all were barefooted they passed across the garden to the 
colonnade without the slightest sound. As they reached it 
Jethro held up his hand for them to stop, for the sound of 
voices came through the wide doorway of an apartment 
opening out to the colonnade. Both Chebron and Amuba 
at once recognised the voice of Ptylus. 

"I will put up with no more of this folly, Mysa. You 
should think yourself fortunate in the extreme, in the posi 
tion in which you are, belonging to a disgraced family, to 
receive such an offer as my son makes to you. I will have 
an answer at once. You will either swear before the gods 
that you accept Plexo as your future husband, that you will 
reply to all who question you that you have been staying 
here by your own free will, and that you remained in con 
cealment simply because you were overwhelmed with horror 
at the terrible act of sacrilege committed by your brother, 
or you will this night be confined in a tomb, where you will 
remain alone and without the tight of day until you agree 
to my conditions. You don't think, you little fool, that I, 
Ptylus, high-priest of Osiris, am to be thwarted in my 
plans by the opposition of a child like you." 

Here a voice, which the three listeners recognized to their 
surprise as that of Euth, broke out: 

"Do not listen to him, Mysa. Whatever comes of it 
never consent to lie before God, as this wicked man would 
have you. You call yourself a high-priest, sir. What must 
be the worth of the gods you pretend to worship if they 
suffer one like you to minister to them ? Were they gods, 
and not mere images of stone, they would strike you dead 
at the altar." 

A furious exclamation broke from Ptylus, and he stepped 
forward and seized the Hebrew girl roughly by the shoulder, 
only to start back with another exclamation as Ruth struck 
him with her open hand, with all her force, on the cheek. 

" Drag her hence, Plexo !" he exclaimed. But at this mo- 


ment the entrance was darkened, and the three listeners 
sprang into the room. 

Ptylus had the courage that distinguished his race, and 
although for a moment startled at the sudden entry he did 
not recoil, but drawing a sword from his girdle he said 
haughtily : 

" Who are you, and what means this intrusion?" 

"We are those whom you have been hunting to death, 
Ptylus; and we come here as avengers of blood. As you 
brought about the murder of Ameres, so you must die, to 
say nought of your offence in carrying off the daughter of 
the man you slew." 

Without a word Ptylus rushed upon Jethro with his sword, 
thinking to make short work of this insolent peasant; but 
as he did so, Jethro whirled his massive club round his head, 
and catching the blow upon it, shivered the sword in pieces. 

Ptylus dropped his arm, and, gazing steadily at his oppo 
nent, said: 

"Wretch, do you dare to murder the high -priest of 

"No," Jethro said; "but I dare to execute him," and he 
brought his heavy club down with all his strength upon the 
head of the priest. 

At this moment Plexo, who had stolen unobserved from 
the room the instant the others entered, returned, followed 
by three armed men. Chebron and Amuba were so intent 
upon the combat between Jethro and the priest, that they 
did not notice the entrance of Plexo, who, with uplifted 
knife, sprang upon Chebron. 

There was a scream of warning, and quick as thought Ruth 
sprang forward and pushed Plexo as he sprang through the 
air. The sudden shock threw both to the ground. Euth 
sprang to her feet again, but Plexo lay there motionless. 
The three armed men stood for a moment stupified at the 
fall of their two employers, and then, seeing two men and a 
woman, rushed forward to attack them. One sweeping 


blow with Jethro's staff felled the first of his assailants to 
the ground; the others paused irresolute. 

"Drop your weapons, or you are dead men!" Jethro ex 
claimed. " You are outnumbered; and if you move, you die !" 

As Chebron had now thrown back his female robe and 
drawn his dagger, and taken his place at the door, while 
Jethro and Amuba were advancing against them, the two 
men dropped their weapons. 

"Hold out your hands," Jethro said. "My son, stand 
over them with your club, and break the skull of either 
who may move." 

The men did as they were ordered. Jethro tore strips 
of cloth off their garments, twisted them into ropes, and 
bound their wrists firmly together. The meaning tone in 
which Jethro had called Amuba his son had not escaped 
either Amuba or Chebron, who saw that Jethro was desirous 
of concealing their names. Mysa, who had raised a cry of 
joy when Jethro first spoke, had sunk terrified upon a couch, 
and had hidden her face in her hands during the short encoun 
ter; while Euth had stood silent and vigilant beside her, 
moving only when Plexo rushed at Chebron, and retiring 
to Mysa's side again as soon as she had regained her feet. 
She, too, understood Jethro's motive in calling Amuba his 
son, and stooping over Mysa she said : 

"It is all over now, Mysa, but remain quiet at present 
Do not speak until you see what is going to be done." 

As soon as the men were tied, Jethro secured in the same 
manner the man who was lying stunned from his blow. Then 
he turned to Plexo, who had not moved since he had fallen. 
He half turned him round, and uttered a low exclamation of 

" Gastrion," he said to Chebron, "go with the young lady 
into the garden, and remain there until we join you." 

Chebron passed out on to the colonnade, following Mysa 
and Ruth. The moment they were unobserved Mysa threw 
her arms round him, and burst into tears with joy. 

( 4S1 ) K 


"Oh, Chebron!" she exclaimed, "you have arrived just in 
time. I thought we were never going to get away from that 
dreadful man; and I don't know what I should have done 
if it hadn't been for Ruth. And, oh! they have been tell 
ing me such terrible things but they can't be true that 
our dear father had been killed ; and that it was you, Chebron, 
who killed dear Faucis ; but of course I did not believe them 
I knew it was all their wickedness." 

"Never mind about that, dear," Chebron said; "we will 
talk about all this afterwards. The first thing is to get 
you away from this place. Jethro and Amuba will soon de 
cide what is best to be done. Are there any others in the 

"There is one other man," Ruth replied, "and an old 
woman; I think the other man is at the door with the 

"I had better tell Jethro," Chebron said, and he again 
went into the room and told Jethro what he had heard. 

" We will seize the woman first," Jethro said, " and then 
go out round the house and come down from the other way 
upon the chariot. The man will have heard the outcry ; and 
if we came suddenly out of the door, might leap into the 
chariot and drive off before we could overtake him. But if 
we come upon it from behind we shall secure him." 

"But you have forgotten to bind Plexo," Chebron said. 

" Plexo is dead," Jethro replied. " As he fell his arm was 
beneath him, and the knife with which he had intended to 
strike you pierced his heart. I am very glad that you ob 
served the way I spoke to Amuba. It was of the greatest 
importance that the name should not be mentioned. This 
affair will cause a tremendous excitement. There is nothing 
to connect us with Ptylus, and it may be supposed that it is 
the work of some malefactors, who came down from the hills 
in search of plunder. The fact that Mysa was here and 
was carried away is not in itself any proof that we had a 
hand in it, for Lybian robbers might well have carried her and 


Ruth away to make slaves of. Plexo caught but a glimpse 
of us, and doubtless only rushed out and called to the men 
to come to his father's assistance. At any rate let there be 
no names mentioned. Now let us finish our work here." 

The female servant was soon found and bound; then the 
four prisoners were placed in different rooms, and fastened 
securely to the wall or pillars. 

"Never put two prisoners together," Jethro said; "always 
remember that. Tie one man up and you may keep him; 
tie up two and they are sure to escape. They can bite 
through each other's cords, or untie the knot with their 
teeth, or possibly even with their fingers." 

"Now, what is the next thing to do?" Amuba asked. 

"The next thing is to have a consultation. Do you, 
Chebron, go out into the garden to the girls. Amuba and I 
will deal with the other man." 

As soon as Jethro and Amuba had left him Chebron re 
joined the girls. 

"You saved my life, Ruth. I shall never forget it." 

"You saved me from the crocodile, my lord. It was but 
a push and he fell. I scarce know how it was done." 

"Your quickness saved my life all the same, Ruth. I had 
not noticed him till you cried out, and then it would have 
been too late. We have been anxious for you also, Ruth. 
We hoped that you might be with Mysa, but none saw 
you go out with her." 

"My place was with my mistress," Ruth said quietly. 
" And she was more than a mistress she was as a friend 
to me." 

"But how came you here, Chebron?" Mysa again asked, 
"and why are you dressed up like a peasant woman? It is 
not seemly in any man, much less in you, a priest. And 
Amuba and Jethro, too; they are dressed as peasants, and 
their faces seem changed, I do not know how. They look 
darker, and I should not have known them had I not recog 
nized Jethro's voice." 

260 UNITED. 

" It is a long story, dear, and I will tell you all presently; 
and we want to hear your story too. Ah! here come the 
others. It is to them, Mysa, far more than to me that you 
owe your rescue. I may know more of the learning of our 
people, but I have none of the readiness and coolness of 
Amuba, while Jethro is as prudent as he is brave. It would 
have fared hardly with me as well as with you, Mysa, had 
it not been for these good friends." 

Mysa went up to them as they approached. 

"Oh, Jethro! I feel how much I owe to you; and to you, 
Amuba. My courage had all but given way, although Ruth 
strove so hard to give me hope, and I fear I could not have 
long withstood the threats of that bad man. You cannot tell 
what joy I felt when I recognized your voice." 

" Our joy was as great in finding you as yours in seeing 
us," Jethro replied. "Amuba and I would gladly have laid 
down our lives for you. And now let us have a con 
sultation; there is much to decide upon and arrange. Let 
us go round to the garden at the other side of the house. 
There we can sit and talk, and at the same time keep watch 
that no one else enters. It is not likely that any one will 
do so, for the place is secluded, and none would know that 
these men were here ; still a peasant might enter to sell fowls 
or fruit, therefore it were best to keep an eye upon the 

They went round to some seats placed beneath trees on 
the other side of the house. A fountain worked by the water 
of a little rill on the hillside played in front of them, and a 
few tame water-fowl swam in a shallow basin around it. 
Everything was still and peaceful, and to Chebron it seemed 
as if the events of the last three weeks had been a hideous 
dream, and that they were again sitting in the garden of 
their house at Thebes. 

" Now, first of all," Mysa said, "I must have my questions 
answered. How are my father and mother and everyone ] " 

Jethro took Amuba's arm and turned away. "We will 


leave you, Chebron, to tell Mysa what has taken place. It 
will be better for you to do so alone." 

Euth rose from her seat to leave also, but Mysa put her 
hand on her arm. 

"I am frightened, Euth; stay with me." 

"You told me, Mysa," Chebron began, "that they had 
told you tales that our father was dead, and that it was I 
who killed Faucis." 

"Yes; but I did not believe them, Chebron. Of course 
I did not for a moment at least not for a moment about 
you. But when I thought of those bad men at the gate, and 
the crash we heard, and the noise of the people rushing in 
shouting, I thought I was afraid that perhaps it might 
be true about our father. But, oh, Chebron, surely it is 
not so?" 

" Alas ! Mysa, it is true ! They cruelly slew our father. I 
wish I had been there to have fallen by his side; but you 
know Amuba and I were away. Jethro fought desperately 
to the last, and would have died with him had not our father 
himself commanded that in case anything happened to him 
he was to take charge of me, and to carry me out of the 

Mysa was crying bitterly now. Presently she looked up. 

" But why should you want to leave the land, Chebron ? 
Surely surely it is not true that you " 

The thing seemed too terrible for her to put into words. 

"That I killed poor Faucis. That is true also, Mysa." 

Mysa gave a little cry of horror. 

"Oh, Euth!" she cried, "this is too dreadful!" 

Euth put her arms round the sobbing girl. "You may 
be sure, Mysa, that your brother did not do it intentionally." 

"But it is all the same," Mysa cried. "It was the sacred 
cat, you know the Cat of Bubastes." 

"It was, Mysa; and I thought at first, as you did, that al 
though it was the result of an accident the anger of the gods 
would be poured out against me, that I was as one accursed, 


whose life was forfeited in this world, and whose spirit was 
destined to dwell in unclean beasts after death. But when 
I told my father all, he reassured me, and told me not to fear 
in any way the wrath of the gods." 

He then related to his sister the manner in which the cat 
had been killed, the steps he and Amuba had taken to con 
ceal the body, and his avowal to his father of his fault. 

"I see it was not your fault, Chebron. But you know the 
laws of Egypt, and the punishment for killing even a com 
mon cat. How could our father say that the gods would not 
be angry]" 

"I cannot tell you all he said, Mysa; though some day 
had I remained with you I might have done so. But he did 
say so, and you know how wise and good he was. Therefore 
I want you to remember what he said, so that when I am 
gone you will not all your life think of me as one accursed." 

"Oh! I should never do that!" Mysa exclaimed, starting 
up and throwing her arms round her brother's neck. "How 
could you think so ? But why are you talking about going, 
and where are you going?" 

" I am going, Mysa, because the people of Egypt do not 
view this matter in the same light as my father, but are 
hunting all the land to find and slay me and Amuba; for, 
not knowing the exact truth, they put us down as equally 
guilty. So we must fly. Our father gave full directions 
to Jethro, and we should by this time have been a long 
distance away had it not been that we stayed to find and 
rescue you." 

" Then if the other things they told me are true, Chebron, 
it may be true too that the letter they showed me ordering 
me to consent to marry Plexo was from my mother. How 
could she tell me that when she knew that I hated him, and 
she has over and over again spoken scornfully of his family 
before me?" 

"What did she say?" Chebron asked. 

" She said that now disgrace had fallen on the family I 


might think myself very fortunate in obtaining such an 

Chebron was silent. He knew that his mother had never 
shown any earnest love either for Mysa or himself, that her 
thoughts were entirely devoted to dress and entertainments, 
and that any love she had to give had been bestowed upon 
his brother. 

"I fear it is true, Mysa." 

"But I will never marry Plexo!" Mysa exclaimed passion 
ately. "My father always said I should never marry a man 
I disliked." 

" You will never marry Plexo, Mysa he is dead." 

Ruth uttered an exclamation. 

"He died by his own hand, Ruth that is, by an accident. 
As he fell his dagger pierced his own heart, and when Jethro 
went to look at him he was dead." 

" The Lord requited him for his evil," Ruth said firmly. 
"All things are in his hands. As I did not mean to slay him, I 
lament not over his death. Besides, he strove to take your life, 
and had I had a dagger in my hand I should assuredly have 
used it." 

"Then what is to become of me?" Mysa asked. 

"You must go back to your mother, Mysa. There is 
nought else for you to do." 

"I will not!" Mysa exclaimed. "She never loved me. 
She would have married me against my will to Plexo, al 
though she knew he was bad, and that I hated him. She 
would make me marry some one else who was rich, regardless 
of my wishes. Noj Chebron, nothing shall make me go back 
to her." 

Chebron looked perplexed. 

"Here come Jethro and Amuba, dear. You had best 
talk it over with them. I see nothing else for you to do." 

As Jethro came up Mysa walked to meet him. 

" I will not go back to my mother, Jethro ! " she exclaimed 
impetuously. "She wanted me to marry Plexo. She would 


give me to some one else, and my father always said I should 
only marry some one I liked. You can never be so cruel as 
to give me up to her?" 

" I know that your father's wishes were strong upon that 
point," Jethro said; "for he spoke to me of you when he gave 
me his commands respecting Chebron. He said that he 
wished that I could watch over you as over him, and it was 
because of what he had said that I disregarded his orders as 
to our instant flight, and lingered here in hopes of freeing 
you. Still I see not anything else to be done. Your mother 
doubtless wrote while still overpowered by grief at your 
father's loss, and thought that she was acting for your wel 
fare in securing you an advantageous marriage in spite of the 
cloud under which your family was resting." 

" I will not go to her !" Mysa repeated. " She thought of 
herself, as she always did, and not of me in any way. You 
know it was so, Chebron you cannot deny it?" 

Chebron was silent His whole affection had been given 
to his father, for his mother he had comparatively little. 
As a child he had seldom been allowed to come into the room 
where she was. She declared that his noise was too much 
for her, that his talk made her head ache, and that his 
fidgeting about was too much to be borne. Nor since that 
time had he been much more with her. It was his father 
who had seen to his welfare and that of Mysa, who would 
put aside his grave studies to walk and talk with them, who 
was always indulgent, always anxious to give them pleasure. 
He therefore thoroughly entered into Mysa's feelings, but 
saw no possible alternative for her. 

" But where could you go, Mysa ? " Jethro asked. " Where 
could you be placed] Wherever you were your mother 
in time would be sure to hear of it and would re-claim 

" I shall go with Chebron, and you, and Amuba," Mysa 
said positively. 

"Impossible!" Jethro replied. "We are going upon a 


tremendous journey, full of danger and fatigue. We are 
going among unknown and savage peoples; the chances are 
a hundred to one against our ever arriving at the end of our 
journey. If this is so to myself and to young men like 
Chebron and Amuba for they are now past eighteen, and 
will speedily be men what chance would there be of success 
with you with us?" 

" I can walk as well as Chebron," Mysa said. "You know 
that, Chebron. And I suppose I could suffer hardship just as 
well. At any rate, I would rather suffer anything and be with 
him and all of you than stop here. The people have murdered 
my father. My mother would sell me to the highest bidder. 
If the chances are so great that you will never get through 
your journey in safety, my being with you cannot make 
them so much greater. I have only Chebron in the world, 
and I will go where he goes, and die where he dies. The 
gods can protect me just as well on a journey as here. Have 
they not protected you now, and Chebron too, by what he 
says? You will take me with you, dear Jethro, won't you?" 
she urged pleadingly. " You say my father wished you to 
watch over me; do not forsake me now. Ruth will come 
with us too will you not, Euth ? I am sure she will not be 
more afraid of the journey than I am." 

" I will assuredly go if you go, Mysa. The God of Israel 
can take us safely through all dangers if it be His will." 

Jethro was silent. Such an addition to his charge would 
assuredly add immensely to the difficulties of the journey; 
but on the other hand he remembered the anxiety of Ameres 
about Mysa, and he asked himself what his late master 
would have wished had he known how matters stood. He 
glanced at Amuba and Chebron and saw at once that their 
wishes agreed with those of Mysa, He turned away 
abruptly, and for some minutes paced up and down the 
garden. Then he returned to the group, among whom not 
a word had been exchanged since he left them. 

" Mysa," he said gravely, " this is a great thing that you 


ask; there is no disguising that your presence will add 
greatly to our difficulties, will add also to our perils, and 
may render it impossible for me to carry out your father's 
wishes and to conduct Chebron to a land where he will be 
beyond the persecution of Egypt. Such an enterprise must 
be undertaken in no light spirit. If you go you must be 
prepared to face death in all forms by hunger and thirst 
and the weapons of the wild natives. It may even be that 
your lot may be that of slavery among them. It is a terrible 
journey for men, more terrible still for women; still, if you 
are resolved, resolved with the strength and mind of a 
woman and not of a child, that after having once turned 
your back upon Egypt you will never repent the step you 
have taken or wish to return, but will be steadfast under 
all the trials that may befall us, then I say that you shall 
share our lot." 

Mysa uttered an exclamation of joy. 

" I promise, Jethro; and whatever may happen hardship, 
danger, or death you shall never hear a word of complaint 
from me. Are you not glad, Ruth?" 

"I think it well," Ruth said gravely. "It is a great 
undertaking; but I think that God's hand is in it. I, too, 
would fain leave this land of idols; and except those here 
have none in the world to care for." 

" And now, Jethro," Amuba said, "what had we best do? 
It is already almost dark, therefore we could set out at once. 
Could we make use of the chariot?" 

Jethro considered for a short time. 

"Except for carrying any things we may want for our 
first start, I do not see that we can do so," he said; "for 
where we leave the chariot to-morrow morning it would be 
found, and when it is known that Ptylus' chariot was miss 
ing it would soon be recognized as his, and thus a clue be 
afforded to the fact that we had fled south. As to travelling 
in it beyond to-night, it would be out of the question. 
Besides it will only hold three at the most. No, if we use 


it at all it must be to drive north, and so throw them off the 
scent. I think it will be worth doing that." 

" I will undertake that part of the business," Amuba 
said. " There will be much for you to do to-morrow, Jethro, 
which only you can arrange. There's the boat to be hired, 
stores laid in, and all got in readiness. I think the best 
plan will be for you both to start at once with the girls for 
Thebes. You and Chebron can occupy your hiding-place on 
the hill, and Chigron will be glad to take the girls into his 
house. There is no danger of an immediate search being 
made for them. 

"To-night when the priest and his son do not return 
their servants will suppose that they have slept here. It 
will not be until late to-morrow afternoon that there will 
be any alarm or any likelihood of a messenger being sent 
over here, then the consternation and confusion that will 
be caused will be so great that probably no one will think 
of carrying the news to the officials until the next morning. 
Besides, until the story of Mysa's having been here and of her 
being missing is generally known, there is no reason that what 
has taken place should be attributed to us ; therefore, for the 
next eight-and-forty hours I think that they would be per 
fectly safe at the embalmer's. I will drive the chariot thirty 
or forty miles north, then turn the horses loose where they 
are sure to be noticed ere long, and will return on foot and 
join you in your hiding-place to-morrow night." 

" I think your plan is a very good one, Amuba. Before 
we start I will make a search through the house. There will 
be nothing we want to take with us, nor would we touch 
any of the treasure of the villains were the house full of 
it; but if I toss some of the things about it will look as if 
robbery had been the motive of what has taken place. 
The men in bonds can know nothing of the real state of 
things. Plexo, when he rushed out for their aid, can have 
had no time to do more than to tell them to take up their 
arms and follow him; indeed, it is doubtful whether he him- 


self had any idea that we were aught but what we seemed. 
Therefore, the first impression assuredly will be that, we 
were malefactors of the worst kind, escaped slaves, men with 
no respect for the gods; for assuredly no Egyptians, even 
the worst of criminals, would, in cold blood, have laid hands 
on the high-priest of Osiris." 

"They laid hands on my father," Chebron said bitterly. 

"Yes, but not in cold blood. Keports had first been 
spread amongst them that he was untrue to the gods, and 
then they were maddened by fanaticism and horror at the 
death of that sacred cat. But in cold blood, as I said, no 
Egyptian, however vile and criminal, would lift his hand 
against a priest. You may as well come with me, Amuba, 
it would be strange if one of us only took part in the 

In ten minutes Jethro and Amuba had turned the place 
into confusion in forcing open chests and cabinets and lit 
tering the floor with garments; then taking a few of the 
most valuable vases and jewels they threw them into the 
pond round the fountain, where they would be concealed 
from view by the water-lilies which floated on its surface. 

They examined afresh the fastenings of the captives, and 
felt assured that by no possibility could they free them 

"They will be sure to be freed by to-morrow night," 
Amuba said, " otherwise I should not like to leave them 
here to die of hunger and thirst." 

" I should be only too glad," Jethro said, " if I thought 
there was a chance of their being here forty hours instead 
of twenty. Doubtless this is not the first evil business they 
have carried out for their villain master, and they may 
think themselves lucky indeed that we do not take what 
would be in every way the safest and best course, namely, 
to run a sword through their bodies and silence them for 
ever. If I thought they could tell anything I would do so 
now; but I really do not think that anything they can tell 


will add to our danger. Of course the priest's wife knows 
that Mysa is hidden here, and will proclaim the fact that 
she has been here and is now missing, as she would 
consider it might afford a clue for the apprehension of those 
who attacked the house and slew her husband and son, 
therefore I do not see that there would be much to be gained 
by silencing these people; but if you think differently I will 
finish them at once." 

Amuba shook his head, for although human life in those 
days was thought little of, save by the Egyptians them 
selves, he shrank from the thought of slaying captives in 
cold blood. 

"No, they can tell nothing, Jethro. You had best be 
moving, there is nothing more to talk over. I think all 
our plans were arranged long ago; except, of course, that 
you must get rather a larger boat than you had intended, 
together with garments for the girls. I think it would be 
best that Chebron should still be disguised as a woman; but 
we can settle that to-morrow night. There is a good store 
of dresses for us to choose from at Chigron's." 

Amuba led the horses to a stone water-trough and allowed 
them to quench their thirst. Then he mounted the chariot 
and drove off, while the rest of the party set out on foot for 
Thebes. It was so late before they reached Chigron's house 
that they thought it better not to arouse the inmates, as 
comment would be excited by the arrival of women at so late 
an hour and unexpected by the master; the girls, therefore, 
passed the night in the rock chamber behind the building, 
while Jethro and Chebron lay down outside. 

As soon as dawn broke they moved some distance away. 
Jethro went to the house as soon as there was a sign that 
there was any one astir, and told Chigron that they had 
discovered and rescued Mysa. Chigron was much disturbed 
when he heard of the death of the high-priest and his son. 

"I don't say these men were not villains, Jethro; but 
that two high-priests should be slaughtered in the course of 


a month is enough to bring the anger of all the gods upon 
Egypt. However, the poor girls are not responsible for it 
in any way, and I will willingly shelter them, especially as 
it is but for one night; but I own that I shall be vastly 
relieved when I know that you are all fairly on your journey." 

"That I can well understand," Jethro said; "and believe 
me, the gratitude of those you have sheltered, which you 
will have as long as they live, may well outweigh any doubts 
that may present themselves as to whether you have acted 
wisely in aiding those who are victims to the superstitions of 
your countrymen." 

Chigron called his servants and told them that he had 
just heard of the arrival from the country of some friends, 
and ordered a room to be prepared for them. He then 
went out and returned an hour later with the two girls. 
He led them quietly into the house and direct to the apart 
ment prepared for them, so that they were unseen by any 
of the servants. 

Then he called an old servant on whose fidelity he could 
rely, and charged her to wait upon them during the day, and 
to suffer none other to enter the apartment. He bade her 
convey the impression to the other servants that the visitors 
were aged women, and to mention that they intended to 
make a stay of a few hours only, until some friends with whom 
they were going to stay should send in a cart to carry them to 
their farm in the country. The old woman at once prepared 
baths for the girls and then supplied them with a meal, 
after which they lay down on couches and were soon fast 
asleep; for the excitement of the preceding evening and the 
strangeness of their position in the comfortless stone chamber 
had prevented their closing an eye during the night, and 
they had spent the hours in talking over the terrible loss 
Mysa had sustained, and the journey that lay before them. 

Half an hour later Chigron went out again and was soon 
joined by Jethro, who had now resumed his attire as a 
citizen of middle class. It was necessary that Chigron 


should accompany him and take the chief part in making 
the arrangements; for although Jethro had learned, in his 
two years' captivity, to speak Egyptian fluently, he could 
not well pass as a native. Chigron therefore did most of the 
bargaining, Jethro keeping somewhat in the background. 

They first took their course down to the river bank. 
Here innumerable craft lay moored; for the Nile was the 
highway of Egypt, and except for short journeys all traffic 
was carried on on its waters. As soon as it was known that 
they were looking for a boat they were surrounded by the 
owners of the various craft, each praising the speed, safety, 
and comfort of his boat. Chigron, however, was some 
time before he made his choice; then he fixed upon a 
boat that seemed well suited for the purpose. She carried 
a mast and large sail to take advantage of favourable winds. 
She was light and of very small draught, and, being con 
structed entirely for passenger traffic, she had a large cabin 
divided into two parts for the accommodation of ladies 
the crew, consisting of the captain and four men, sleeping on 
the deck. 

"I think your boat will do very well," he said to the 
captain, "provided we can come to terms. My friend is 
going up with his family as far as Syene at any rate, and 
possibly on to Ibsciak; his business may take him even far 
ther. What will be your terms a week?" 

" I suppose my lord will provide food for the crew as well 
as for his own family?" 

" That will be the best way," Jethro said. 

"Then will he pay for extra hands where the current 
runs so strong that the crew cannot tow the boat unaided 
against it?" 

Jethro assented. 

"And will he return with it, or remain for a while at the 
end of his journey ?" 

"It is probable that his business may detain him there 
for a considerable time," Chigron replied. "He has rela- 


tions there with whom he will wish to make a stay. But 
this should make no difference; you will have no difficulty in 
obtaining passengers or freight for your journey down." 

It was a long time before a bargain was struck, for 
Chigron knew that the boatman would consider it strange 
indeed were the terms he first asked to be accepted. But 
at last an arrangement satisfactory to both parties was con 
cluded. It was arranged that the start should take place 
early on the following morning, and Chigron then proceeded 
with Jethro to make the purchases requisite for the voyage 
mats, cushions, and curtains for furnishing the boat, 
cooking utensils and provisions for the crew and passen 
gers. Of these, however, it was not necessary to take a 
very large quantity, as the boat would lie up to the bank 
every night near one of the frequent villages, and here there 
would be no difficulty in purchasing provisions of all kinds. 

Some jars of good wine were, however, among the stores 
purchased, and in addition to these were several bales of 
costly merchandise and a large stock of such articles as 
would be useful for trade with the natives of the wilder 
parts of the country. A supply of arms bows, arrows, and 
lances was also placed on board. It was late in the after 
noon before all these things were got on board the boat and 
everything arranged in order. Having seen all complete, 
Chigron returned with Jethro to his house. Jethro, after 
seeing the girls, who had just woke up and partaken of a 
meal, went up to the hiding-place on the hill and found that 
Amuba had just joined Chebron there. 

"Is all going on well?" the lads asked as he entered. 

" Everything is in readiness. The boat is hired and fur 
nished. I have a good store of merchandise for trading in 
Meroe, besides trinkets of many kinds for the peoples lying 
between Meroe and the Red Sea. So far everything pro 
mises well. The boatmen belong to the Upper Nile, and 
their dialect differs too widely from that spoken here for 
them to be able to distinguish that I do not talk pure 


Egyptian. I wondered why it was that Chigron was such 
a long time in making his choice between the boats, when, 
as far as I could see, there were scores that would have 
equally suited our purpose. But I found afterwards that it 
was the boatmen rather than the boat which he was select 
ing, and that he chose those coming from far up the river, 
partly because their speech differed so widely from that of 
Thebes that they would not detect the roughness of my 
tongue; and secondly, because they would be more likely 
to continue the voyage farther to the south than would the 
boatmen of this part, who would regard it as a serious 
undertaking to proceed beyond Ibsciak. Therefore we need 
fear no suspicion on the part of our boatmen. I suppose 
you disposed of the chariot as we arranged, Amuba?" 

"Yes, I drove north for five hours and then turned aside 
into a wood. Here I loosed the horses so that they could 
feed as they chose. They would doubtless by morning stray 
into the fields, and so attract attention. Then there would 
be a search to see to whom they belonged, and the chariot 
would be found. By the time that the news spreads that 
Ptylus is dead, and also that his chariot and horses are 
missing and have doubtless been taken off by those who 
had attacked him, the tidings that the chariot is found will 
have been taken to the nearest town, and it will shortly be 
reported all over the country that we are making north, and 
the search for us will be made in that direction only." 
"Are you going back to the house, Jethro?" 
"Yes. Chigron has given out to his servants that the 
visitors are relatives of mine, and as I have been frequently 
seen going in and out in this garb they are now accustomed 
to me; and it will be natural for me to sleep there to-night 
and to start with them in the morning. We shall start 
exactly at sunrise. You had better wait at a distance from 
the house and follow us, coming up and joining us just as 
we reach the river-side. The boat will be taken above the 
city to the highest steps; and we shall be able to proceed 

(481) 8 


to that point without entering the town itself. Be careful 
with your disguises. The news of the death of Ptylus will 
not, I hope, be generally known in the city until we are 
fairly afloat. Were it otherwise it would be dangerous for 
you to run the risk of being seen abroad." 



LATE at night Jethro again went up to the hiding-place 
on the hill. Chigron had just returned from another 
visit to the city. He said : 

" The whole of the town is in an uproar. The news that 
Ptylus and his son have been found slain has been received, 
and the excitement is tremendous. The death by violence of 
two high-priests of Osiris within so short a time is regarded 
as a presage of some terrible national misfortune. That one 
should have been slain was an almost unprecedented act an 
insult of a terrible kind to the gods; but this second act of 
sacrilege has almost maddened the people. Some regard it 
as a judgment of Osiris, and deem that it is a proof that, as 
a few ventured to whisper before, the death of Ameres was 
brought about by an intrigue among a party of the priests, 
headed by Ptylus. Others see in it a fresh proof of the 
anger of the god against Egypt. 

" The king himself will, it is said, take part in services of 
propitiation in the Temple of Osiris to-morrow; sacrifices are 
to be offered, they say, in all the temples. A solemn fast will 
be proclaimed to-morrow, and all the people, high and low, 
are to shave their eyebrows and to display the usual signs 
of mourning. So far I have heard nothing as to the fact that 
two girls who were in the house are discovered to be missing, 


but to-morrow, when those who were in the house are 
questioned by the magistrates, this fact will doubtless come 
out, and the men will own that by the orders of Ptylus they 
carried Mysa away at the time the attack on the house was 

"At present, however, there is no question of women in 
the case; and I can go down to the boat with the girls in 
company with Chigron without any fear whatever. But it 
is better that you should not be with us when we embark; 
for when the matter comes to be talked over, someone who 
sees us embark might notice that our number tallied with 
that of the three persons present when Ptylus was killed, 
and the two missing girls. Therefore Chigron's opinion is 
that it will be safer for you to start at once and walk to 
Mita, a village twenty miles up the river. There the boat 
will lie up to-morrow night, and as soon as it is dark you 
can come on board. I shall tell the boatmen that I expect 
you to join us there, as you have gone on ahead to transact 
some business for me in the neighbourhood." 

"That is certainly the best plan," Amuba agreed. "There 
are too many who know Chebron by sight for it to be safe 
for him to go down to the boat here and embark in broad 
daylight. I will take two hours' sleep before I start; for as 
I did not sleep last night, and have walked forty miles since 
I left the chariot, I feel in need of a little repose before I start 
again. I was foolish not to have slept this afternoon, for I 
have since midday been hiding near; but there was so much 
to think about that I had no inclination to do so, especially 
as I believed that we would have a night's rest here." 

" I will wake you," Chebron said. " I have been asleep 
the better part of the day, having had nothing to do since 
we arrived here yesterday evening." 

Chebron sat watching the stars until he saw that they 
had made two hours' journey through the sky. Then he 
roused Amuba, Both now laid aside their garments as 
peasants and put on the attire prepared for them as the 


sons of a small trader. Amuba had submitted, although 
with much disgust, to have his head shaved on the night 
following the death of Ameres, and it was a satisfaction to 
him to put on a wig; for, accustomed as he was to see the 
bare heads of the peasants, it was strange and uncomfortable 
to him to be going about in the same fashion. 

As soon as they were dressed they started, made their 
way down to the bank of the river above the town, and 
walked along the broad causeway by the stream until within a 
mile or two of their destination. Then they turned off towards 
a clump of trees which were visible by the first gleam of 
dawn a quarter of a mile away. Here they slept for some 
hours, and late in the afternoon returned to the side of the 
river and strolled quietly along, watching the boats. Those 
in the middle of the stream were making their way down 
with the current lightly and easily, the crews often singing 
merrily, rejoicing over the approaching meeting with their 
friends after an absence of many weeks. The boats going 
up the stream were all close to the bank, the crews walking 
along the causeway and labouring at the tow-ropes, for there 
was not enough wind to render the sails of any utility in 
breasting the stream. The craft were of various kinds, 
some shapeless and rudely fashioned, used in conveying 
corn from the country higher up down to Thebes, and now 
returning empty. Others were the fancifully-painted boats 
of the wealthy, with comfortable cabins and sails of many 
colours richly decorated and embroidered. These were 
carrying their owners up or down the river, between their 
country mansions and the city. 

It was half an hour after sunset when the two friends 
arrived at Mita. Darkness falls quickly in Egypt after the 
sun has gone down, and their features could scarcely have 
been recognized had they been met by anyone acquainted 
with them in the streets. The scene in the streets of the 
little village was a busy one. Its distance from Thebes 
rendered it a general halting-place for the night of the boats 


which had left the capital early, and a great number of 
these were already moored off the bank, while others were 
arriving in quick succession. The boatmen and passengers 
were busy making their purchases at the shops; fishermen, 
with well-filled baskets, were shouting the praises of their 
fish; fowlers, with strings of ducks and geese hanging from 
poles from their shoulders, were equally clamorous in offer 
ing them for sale. 

The shops of the fruiterers and bakers and those of the 
vendors of the vegetables that formed so large a portion of 
the diet of the Egyptians, were all crowded, and the wine 
shops were doing a brisk business. 

Chebron and Amuba made their way through the busy 
scene, keeping a sharp look-out for Jethro, for they consid 
ered it certain, that owing to the early start the boat was 
to make that it would have arrived there some hours before, 
and that he would be on the look-out for them. In a few 
minutes they saw him looking into one of the shops. He 
started as they went up to him and touched him, for he 
had not perceived them before. 

"All well?" Amuba asked. 

"Everything has gone off admirably. We got off without 
the slightest trouble. But come on board at once; the girls 
are anxious about you, although I assured them that there 
was not the slightest risk of your being discovered on your 
way here." 

So saying, Jethro led the way to the boat, which was 
moored by the bank a hundred yards above the village, " in 
order," Jethro said, " that they could make an early start in 
the morning, and be off before the rest of the boats were 
under way." 

" Here are your brothers," Jethro said in a loud voice as 
he stepped on board. " I found them dawdling and gossip- 
ping in the street, forgetting altogether that you were wait 
ing for your evening meal until they came on board." 

Both entered the cabin, which was about eight feet wide and 


twelve feet long, but not high enough for them to stand up 
right. The floor was spread with a thick carpet; cushions 
and pillows were arranged along each side, and thick mat 
ting hung from the top. In the daytime this was rolled 
up and fastened, so that the air could play through the 
cabin, and those within could look out at the river; but at 
present it closed the openings, and kept out both the night-air 
and the glances of passers-by. At the other end was a door 
opening into the smaller cabin allotted to the girls. A lamp 
swung from the beams overhead. Mysa gave a cry of plea 
sure as they entered, and was about to spring to her feet 
when Jethro exclaimed : 

"Mind your head, child! You are not accustomed to 
these low quarters yet." 

"Thank the gods we are together again!" Mysa said, 
as Chebron, after embracing her, sat down on the cushion 
beside her. "I feel almost happy now, in spite of the 
dreadful times that have passed." 

"It does feel homelike here," Chebron said, looking 
round, " especially after sleeping in the open air on the 
hard ground, as we have been doing for the last month." 

"I should hardly have known you, Amuba," Mysa said. 
" You do look so different in your wig, and with your skin 

"I must look horrible," Amuba replied rather ruefully. 

" You don't look so nice," Mysa replied frankly. " I 
used at first to think that short, wavy, golden hair of yours 
was strange, and that you would look better in a wig like 
other people; but now I am sorry it has gone." 

" Here is our meal," Jethro said, as the hangings that 
served as a door were drawn aside, and one of the men 
entered bearing a dish of fried fish and another of stewed 
ducks, which he placed on the floor. 

Jethro produced some cups and a jar of wine from a locker 
in the cabin, and then the men, by his orders, brought in a 
jar of water for the use of the girls. Then sitting round the 


dishes they began their meal, Jethro cutting up the food 
with his dagger, and all helping themselves with the aid of 
their fingers and pieces of bread, that served them for the 
purpose of forks. Mysa had been accustomed always to the 
use of a table; but these were only used in the abodes of 
the rich, and the people in general sat on the ground to 
their meals. 

"We have not begun our hardships yet," Mysa said, 
smiling. "I should not mind how long this went on. I 
call this much better than living in a house; don't you, 

" It is more natural to me than that great house of yours," 
Ruth replied; " and of course to me it is far more homelike 
and comfortable. For I do not think I was a favourite among 
the other servants; they were jealous of the kindness you 
showed me." 

" There is one thing I wanted to say," Jethro said. " It 
is better that we should not call each other by our names. I 
am sure that the boatmen have no suspicion here that we 
are other than what we seem to be ; but they can hardly help 
hearing our names, for all Egypt has rung with them for the 
last month, and it would be well if we change them for the 
present. You must of necessity call me father, since that 
is the relation I am supposed to bear to you. Amuba can 
become Amnis, and Chebron Chefu." 

"And I will be Mytis," Mysa said. " What name will you 
take, Ruth 1 ? There is no Egyptian name quite like yours." 

" It matters not what you call me," Ruth said. 

' We will call you Nite," Mysa said. " I had a great 
friend of that name, but she died." 

" And there is one thing, Nite," Chebron said, " that I 
wish you to understand. Just now you spoke to me as my 
lord Chebron. That sort of thing must not be any longer. 
We are all fugitives together, and Mysa and I have no longer 
any rank Jethro and Amuba are of high rank in their 
own country, and if we ever get safely to their own people 


they will be nobles in the land, while we shall be but 
strangers, as he was when he and Jethro came into Egypt. 
Therefore any talk of rank among us is but folly. We are 
fugitives, and my life is forfeited if I am discovered 
in my own land. Jethro is our leader and guardian, 
alike by the will of our father and because he is older and 
wiser than any of us. Amuba is as my elder brother, being 
stronger and braver and more accustomed to danger than I ; 
while you and Mysa are sisters, inasmuch as you are both 
exiled from your own land, and are friendless, save for each 
other and us." 

" I am glad to hear you say that, brother," Mysa said. " I 
spoke to her last night about it, for she would insist on 
treating me as if she were still my servant; which is absurd, 
and not nice of her, when she is going out with us to share 
our dangers only because she loves me. It is I rather who 
should look up to her, for I am very helpless, and know 
nothing of work or real life, while she can do all sorts of 
things; besides, when we were captives it was she who was 
always brave and hopeful, and kept up my spirits when, I do 
think, if it had not been for her I should have died of grief 
and terror." 

" By the way," Jethro said, " we have not heard yet how 
it was that you were together. We heard of your being 
carried off, but old Lyptis told me that no one had seen 
aught of you." 

" They were all scared out of their senses," Euth said 
scornfully. " The men suddenly ran into the room and 
seized Mysa, and twisted a shawl round her head before she 
had time to call out. I screamed, and one of them struck 
me a blow which knocked me down. Then they carried her 
off. I think I was stunned for a moment. When I recov 
ered I found they were gone. I jumped up and ran along 
the passage and through the hall, where the women were 
screaming and crying, and then out of the house through the 
garden, and out of the gate. Then I saw four men at a 


short distance off carrying Mysa to a cart standing a hun 
dred yards away. I ran up just as they laid her in it One 
of them turned upon me with a dagger. I said : 

" Let me go with her, and I will be quiet. If not, I will 
scream; and if you kill me, it will only set the people on 
your traces. 

"The men hesitated, and I ran past them and climbed 
into the cart, and threw myself down by Mysa, and then 
they drove off." 

" It was brave and good of you, Ruth," Jethro said, laying 
his hand on the girl's shoulder; "but why did you not 
scream when you first came out of the gate ? It might have 
brought aid, and prevented Mysa from being carried off." 

" I thought of that," Ruth said, " but there were numbers 
of rough men still coming in at the gate; and knowing how 
the people had been stirred up to anger against us, I did not 
know what might happen if I gave the alarm. Besides, I 
was not sure at first that these men, although they seemed 
so rough and violent, were not really friends, who were 
taking away Mysa to save her from the popular fury." 

"Yes, that might have been the case," Jethro agreed. 
" At any rate, child, you acted bravely and well. We were 
hoping all along that you were with Mysa, for we knew 
what a comfort you would be to her. Only, as the women 
all declared you did not pass out after her, we did not see 
how that could be. And now, Mytis and Nite, you had better 
retire to your own cabin to rest; for though you have both 
kept up wonderfully, all this has been a great strain for you, 
and you are both looking fagged and heavy-eyed. To-night 
you can sleep in comfort; for, for the present, I think that 
there is no occasion whatever for the slightest anxiety." 

It was some time before Jethro and his companions lay 
down to sleep. They talked long and earnestly of the journey 
that lay before them; and when they had exhausted this 
topic, Chebron said: 

" Till now, Jethro, I have not asked you about my father's 


funeral. When is it to be ? I have thought of it often, but 
as you did not speak I thought it better not to question 

" I was glad you did not," Jethro replied. " It will be 
in about ten days' time. As I believe you guessed, Chigron 
is embalming him; the process will not be completed for 
another four days, and, as you know, the relatives do not 
see the corpse after it is in the hands of the embalmer 
until it is swathed and in the coffin. Chigron has done so 
much that must have been against his conscience that I 
did not like him to be asked to allow you to break through 
that custom, which to him is a sort of religion ; besides, dear 
lad, I thought it better for yourself not to renew your griefs 
by gazing on a lifeless face. 

"During the last month you have fortunately had so 
much to distract your thought that you have not had time 
to dwell upon your loss. Moreover, you have needed all 
your strength and your energy for your search for your sister, 
and right sure am I that your father, who was as sensible 
as he was wise and the two things do not always go together 
would be far better pleased to see you energetic and active 
in your search for your sister, and in preparation for this new 
life on which we are entering, than in vain regrets for him; 
therefore, lad, for every reason I thought it better to keep 
silent upon the subject. It may be a satisfaction, however, 
for you to know that everything will be done to do honour 
to the dead. 

" The king and all the great men of Egypt will be present, 
and Thebes will turn out its thousands to express its grief 
for the deed done by a section of its population. Had it 
not been for the express commands of your father I should 
have thought that it might have been worth while for you 
to present yourself on that occasion, and it may be that for 
once even the fanatics would have been satisfied to have 
pardoned the offence of the son because of the wrong done 
to the father. However this affair of Ptylus puts that out of 


the question, for when it is generally known that Mysa was 
carried off when Ptylus was slain, public opinion will arrive 
at the truth and say that the fugitives of whom they were 
in search, the slayers of the sacred cat, were the rescuers of 
the daughter of Ameres and the slayers of the high-priest." 

" You are right, Jethro, it will be better for me not to 
have seen my father; I can always think of him now as I 
saw him last, which is a thousand times better than if he 
dwelt in my memory as he lies in the cere-clothes in the 
embalming room of Chigron. As to what you say about 
my appearing at the funeral, I would in no case have done 
it; I would a thousand times rather live an exile or meet my 
death at the hands of savages than crave mercy at the hands 
of the mob of Thebes, and live to be pointed at all my life 
as the man who had committed the abhorred offence of 
killing the sacred cat." 

The conversation in the cabin had all been carried on in 
an undertone; for although through an opening in the cur 
tains they could see the crew who had been eating their 
meal by the light of a torch of resinous wood, and were now 
wrapt up in thick garments to keep off the night dew chat 
ting merrily together and occasionally breaking into snatches 
of song, it was prudent to speak so that not even a chance 
word should be overheard. The boatmen, indeed, were in 
high spirits. Their home lay far up near the borders of 
Upper Egypt, and it was seldom indeed that they obtained 
a job which gave them the chance of visiting their friends. 
Thus the engagement was most satisfactory to them, for 
although their leader had haggled over the terms he and 
they would gladly have accepted half the rate of pay rather 
than let such an opportunity slip. As Chebron finished 
speaking they were preparing for the night by laying down 
a few mats on the boards of the fore-deck. Then they 
huddled closely together, pulled another mat or two over 
them, extinguished the torch, and composed themselves to 


"We will follow their example; but a little more com 
fortably, I hope," Jethro said. 

The cushions and pillows were arranged, the lamp turned 
low, and in a short time all on board the boat were sound 
asleep. No ray of light had entered the cabin when Amuba 
was awakened by a movement of the boat, caused by a stir 
among the crew. He felt his way to the door and threw 
back the hangings and looked out ; there was a faint greenish 
yellow light in the east, but the stars were still shining 

" Good morning, young master ! " the captain said. " I 
hope you have slept well" 

"So well that I could hardly believe it was morning," 
Amuba replied. How long will it be before you are off 1 ?" 

" We shall be moving in ten minutes ; at present there 
is not light enough to see the shore." 

"Chefu, are you awake?" 

"Yes," Chebron answered sleepily, "I am awake; thanks 
to your talking. If you had lain quiet we might have slept 
for another hour yet" 

"You have had plenty of sleep the last twenty-four 
hours," Amuba retorted. "Take a cloth and let us land 
and run along the banks for a mile, and have a bathe before 
the boat comes along." 

" It is very cold for it," Chebron said. 

"Nonsense! the water will refresh you." 

" Come along, Chefu," Jethro said, " your brother is right; 
a dip will refresh us for the day." 

The Egyptians were most particular about bathing and 
washing. The heat and dust of the climate rendered clean 
liness an absolute necessity, and all classes took their daily 
bathe the wealthy in baths attached to their houses, the 
poor in the water of the lakes or canals. Jethro and the 
two lads leapt ashore and ran briskly along the bank for 
about a mile, stripped and took a plunge into the river, 
and were dressed again just as the boat came along with 


the four men towing her, and the captain steering with an 
oar at the stern. It was light enough now for him to dis 
tinguish the faces of his passengers, and he brought the 
boat straight alongside the bank. In a few minutes the 
girls came out from their cabin, looking fresh and rosy. 

"So you have been bathing?" Mysa said. "We heard 
what you were saying, and we have had our bath too." 

" How did you manage that?" Chebron asked. 

" We went out by the door at the other side of our cabin 
in our woollen robes, on to that little platform on which 
the man is standing to steer, and poured jars of water over 
each other." 

"And you both slept well?" 

"Yes, indeed, and without waking once till we heard 
Amnis call you to get up." 

"You disturbed every one, you see, Amnis," Chebron 

" And a very good thing too," Amuba laughed. "If we 
had not had our bath when we did, we should not have got 
an opportunity all day. Now we all feel fresh." 

" And ready for something to eat," Mysa put in. 

"What would you like, Mytis?" Ruth asked. "I am a 
capital cook, you know, and I don't suppose the men will 
be preparing their breakfast for a long time yet." 

" I think that will be a very good plan, Mytis," Jethro 
said; "but we will divide the labour between us. The two 
boys shall stir up the brands mouldering on the flat stone 
hearth forward, I will clean and get ready some fish, 
Nite shall cook them, while Mytis shall, under her directions, 
make us some cakes and put them into the hot ashes to bake. 
We shall have to shift for ourselves later on. There is 
nothing like getting accustomed to it. Of course the men 
will cook the principal meals, but we can prepare little meals 
between times. It is astonishing how many times you can 
eat during the day when you are in the open air." 

In half an hour the meal, consisting of the fish, light 


dough-cakes, which Mysa had with much amusement pre 
pared under Ruth's directions, and fruit was ready. The 
latter consisted of grapes and melons. The meal was greatly 
enjoyed, ,and by the time it was finished the sun was already 
some distance up the sky. For an hour the party sat on 
the deck forward watching the boats coming down the 
stream and the villages on the opposite shore; but as the 
sun gained power they were glad to enter into the cabin. 
The mats were rolled up now to allow a free passage of 
air, and as they sat on the cushions they could look out on 
both sides. 

Day after day passed quietly and smoothly. The men 
generally towed the boat from sunrise until eleven o'clock 
in the day, then they moored her to the bank, prepared 
a meal, and after eating it went ashore if there were trees 
that afforded a shade there, or if not, spread out some mats 
on poles over the boat and slept in their shade till three 
o'clock. Then they towed until sunset, moored her for the 
night, cooked their second meal, talked and sung for an 
hour or two, and then lay down for the night. Sometimes 
the wind blew with sufficient strength to enable the boat to 
stem the stream close inshore by means of the sail alone; 
then the boatmen were perfectly happy, and spent their day 
in alternate eating and sleeping. Generally the passengers 
landed and walked alongside of the boat for an hour or two 
after they had had their early breakfast, and again when 
the heat of the day was over; it made a change, and at the 
same time kept their muscles in a state of health and ac 

" We may have to make long journeys on foot," Jethro 
said, " and the more we can accustom ourselves to walking 
the better." 

The time passed so quietly and pleasantly that both Mysa 
and Chebron at times blamed themselves for feeling as light- 
hearted as they did; but when the latter once said so to 
Jethro he replied: 


"Do not be uneasy on that score. Remember that in 
the first place it is a comfort to us all that you and your 
sister are cheerful companions. It makes the journey lighter 
for us. In the next place, good spirits and good health go 
together; and although, at present, our life is an easy one, 
there will be need for health and strength presently. 
This flight and exile are at present blessings rather than 
misfortunes to you. Just as Amuba's captivity following 
so closely upon the death of his father and mother was to 

" I can hardly believe," Mysa said, " that we are really 
going upon a dangerous expedition. Everything is so pleas 
ant and tranquil. The days pass without any care or trouble. 
I find it difficult to believe that the time is not very far off 
when we shall have to cross deserts, and perhaps to meet 
savage beasts and wild people, and be in danger of our 

" It will be a long time first, Mytis. It will be months 
before we arrive at Meroe, the capital of the next kingdom, 
which lies at the junction of the two great arms of this 
river. Up to that point I do not think there will be dangers, 
though there may be some little difficulty, for they say 
there are tremendous rapids to be passed. It is only lately 
that the king overran Meroe, defeated its armies, and forced 
it to pay tribute, but as there is a considerable trade carried 
on with that country I do not think there is any danger of 
molestation. It is on leaving Meroe that our difficulties 
will commence; for, as I hear, the road thence to the east 
through the city of Axoum, which is the capital of the 
country named Abyssinia, passes through a 'wild land 
abounding with savage animals : and again, beyond Axoum 
the country is broken and difficult down to the sea 

" Chigron told me, however, that he had heard from a 
native of Meroe who had worked for him that there is a far 
shorter road to the sea from a point at which the river takes 
a great bend many hundreds of miles below the capital. 


When we get higher up we can of course make inquiries as 
to this. I hope that it may prove to be true, for if so, it 
will save us months of travel" 

Several large towns were passed as they journeyed up 
wards. Hermonthis, standing on the western bank, by 
which they were travelling, was the first passed. Then came 
Esneh, with grand temples dedicated to Kneph and Neith, 
and standing where the Nile valley opens to a width of five 
miles. Then they passed Eilithya, standing on the eastern 
bank, with many temples rising above it, and with the sand 
stone rock behind it dotted with the entrances to sepulchres. 

A few miles higher up they passed Edfu. Above this the 
valley gradually narrowed, the hills closing in until they 
rose almost perpendicularly from the edge of the stream. 
Here were temples erected specially for the worship of the 
Nile, and of his emblem the crocodile. It appeared to the 
Egyptians the most appropriate place for the worship of the 
river, which seemed here to occupy the whole width of 
Egypt Here, too, were vast quarries, from which the stone 
was extracted for the building of most of the temples of 
Upper Egypt. 

Sixteen miles higher Ombi was passed, with its great 
temple in honour of the crocodile-headed god Sebak. Along 
this part of the river the country was comparatively barren, 
and the villages small and far apart. In the narrow places 
the river at times ran so rapidly that it was necessary to 
hire a number of peasants to assist the boatmen to drag the 
boat against the stream, and the progress made each day 
was very slight. 

Four days after leaving Ombi they arrived at Syene, 1 by 
far the largest town they had come to since leaving Thebes. 
This brought the first stage of their journey to an end. 
Hitherto they had been travelling along a tranquil river, 
running strongly at times, but smooth and even. Before them 
they had a succession of cataracts and rapids to pass, and a 

1 The modern Assouan. 

SYENE. 289 

country to traverse which, although often subjugated, was 
continually rising against the power of Egypt 

At Syene they remained for three days. They would 
gladly have pushed on without delay, for although the 
Egyptian authority extended further up the river, Syene 
was the last town where the governor would concern himself 
with the affairs of Egypt, or where fugitives from justice 
were likely to be arrested. However, as it was customary 
to give boatmen a few days of repose after their labour, 
and before undertaking the still more severe work which 
lay before them, Jethro thought it better to avoid any 
appearance of haste. 

There was much to be seen that was new to them at 
Syene. A great trade was carried on with Meroe. Most of 
the merchants engaged in it dwelt here, buying on the one 
hand the products of Upper and Lower Egypt and sending 
or taking them up the river, and on the other hand buying 
the products of Meroe and despatching them to Thebes. 
The streets were filled with a mingled population. Egyptians 
with their spotless garments and tranquil mien; merchants 
absorbed in business; officers and soldiers in large numbers, 
for Syene was an important military station ; officials belong 
ing to the great quarries near, and gangs of slaves of many 
nationalities working under their orders. 

Wild-looking figures moved among the crowd, their gar 
ments, thrown loosely round them, affording a striking con 
trast to the cleanness of those of the Egyptians, while 
their unkempt hair was in equally strong contrast to the 
precise wigs of the middle-class Egyptians and the bare 
heads of the lower class. Their skins, too, were much darker 
in colour, though there was considerable variation in this 
respect. Among them were a sprinkling of men of an en 
tirely different type, almost black in hue, with thicker lips 
and natter features. These were Ethiopians, whose land lay 
beyond that of Meroe, and who had also felt the weight and 
power of the arms of Egypt. 

(481) T 


"These people of Meroe," Amuba said, "are very similar 
in feature to the Egyptians, Chebron. And their tongue is 
also not unlike yours; I can understand their speech." 

"Our oldest books," Amuba said, "say that we are kindred 
people, and are Asiatic rather than African in our origin. 
The people of Meroe say that their far-back ancestors came 
from Arabia, and first spreading along the western shore of 
the Red Sea, ascended to the high lands and drove out the 
black people who inhabited them. 

"As to our own origin, it is vague; but my father has 
told me that the opinion among those most skilled in the 
ancient learning is that we too came from Arabia. We 
were not all one people, that is certain; and it is com 
paratively of recent years, though a vast time as far as 
human lives go, that the people of the Thebaid that is, of 
Upper Egypt extended their dominion over Lower Egypt, 
and made the whole country one nation. Even now, you 
know, the king wears two crowns the one of Upper Egypt, 
the other of the lower country. Along the shores of the 
Great Sea to the west are Lybians and other peoples similar 
in race to ourselves. My father considered that the tribes 
which first came from Asia pressed on to the west, driving 
back or exterminating the black people. Each fresh wave 
that came from the east pushed the others further and 
further, until at last the ancestors of the people of Lower 
Egypt arrived and settled there. 

"In Meroe the temples and religion are similar to our 
own. Whether they brought that religion from Arabia, or 
whether we planted it there during our various conquests of 
the country, I cannot tell you; but certain it is that there is 
at present but little more difference between Upper Egypt 
and Meroe than there is between Upper Egypt and the 

" And beyond Meroe the people are all black like those 
we see here?" 

"So I believe, Amuba. Our merchants penetrate vast 


distances to the south exchanging our products for gold and 
ivory, and everywhere they find the country inhabited by 
black people living in wretched villages, without, as it seems, 
any government, or law, or order, waging war with each 
other and making slaves, whom they also sell to our mer 
chants. They differ so wholly from us that it is certain that 
we cannot come from the same stock. But they are strong 
and active, and make excellent slaves. Lying between 
Meroe and the sea, the country called Abyssinia is also 
inhabited by a race of Arab blood, but differing more from 
us than those of Meroe. 

" They have great towns, but I do not think that their re 
ligion is the same as ours; our traders say that their language 
can be understood by them, although more rough and un 
polished. I have heard my father say that he considered 
that all the country lying east of the Nile, and of its eastern 
branch that rises in Abyssinia and is called the Tacazze, 
belongs to Asia rather than to Africa.'' 

The party found that the death by violence of two suc 
cessive high-priests of Osiris was one of the principal topics 
of conversation in Syene, but none appeared to think that 
there was the remotest probability of any concerned in those 
occurrences making for the south. However, Jethro thought 
it prudent that the whole party should not land together, 
and therefore Amuba and Chebron usually went one way, 
and he with the girls another. They paid visits to the 
sacred island of Ebo opposite the town, and to the quarries 
of Phile, four miles away. Here they saw the gangs of 
slaves cutting out colossal statues, obelisks, and shrines 
from the solid rock 

First the outline was traced on the rock, then the sur 
rounding stone was removed with chisels and wedges, and 
at last the statue or obelisk was itself severed from the 
rock Then it was hewn and sculptured by the masons, 
placed on rollers and dragged by hundreds of men down to 
the landing-place below the rapids, and these placed on rafts 


to be floated down the river to its destination. They saw 
many of these masses of stone in all stages of manufacture. 
The number of slaves employed was enormous, and these 
inhabited great buildings erected near the quarries, where 
also were barracks for the troops who kept guard over them. 

Watching the slaves at their painful labour, Jethro and 
Amuba were both filled with gratitude at the good fortune 
that had placed them with Ameres instead of sending them 
to pass their lives in such unceasing and monotonous toil 
Among the slaves were several whom, by their complexion 
and appearance, they judged to be Rebu. As at first all those 
brought to Egypt had been distributed among the priests 
and great officers, they supposed that either from obstinacy, 
misconduct, or from attempts to escape, they had incurred 
the displeasure of their masters, and had been handed over 
by them for the service of the state. 

Had the slaves been in the hands of private masters, Jethro 
and Amuba, who were filled with pity at seeing their country 
men in such a state, would have endeavoured to purchase 
them and take them with them upon their journey. This 
was out of the question now, nor was it possible to hold any 
communication with them, or to present them with a small 
sum of money to alleviate their misery, without exciting 
suspicion. The whole party were heartily glad when on the 
morning of the fourth day after their arrival the boat was 
pushed off from the shore, and the work of ascending the 
rapids began. 



THE river had begun to rise before they left Thebes, and 
although it had not yet reached its highest point a 
great volume of water was pouring down; and the boatmen 


assured Jethro that they would be able to ascend the cata 
ract without difficulty, whereas when the Nile was low there 
was often great danger in passing, and at times indeed no 
boats could make the passage. Ten men were engaged 
in addition to the crew to take the boats up beyond the 

But although assured that there was no danger the girls 
declared that they would rather walk along the bank, for 
the hurry and rush of the mighty flood, rising sometimes 
in short angry waves, were certainly trying to the nerves. 
Jethro and the lads of course accompanied them, and some 
times seized the rope and added their weight when the force 
of the stream brought the men towing to a stand-still and 
seemed as if it would, in spite of their efforts, tear the boat 
from their grasp. At last the top of the rapids was gained, 
and they were glad to take their places again in the boat as 
she floated on the quiet water. So a month passed some 
times taken along by favourable winds, at others being towed 
along quiet waters close to the shore, at others battling with 
the furious rapids. They found that the cataract they had 
first passed was as nothing to those higher up. Here the 
whole cargo had to be unloaded and carried up to the top 
of the rapids, and it needed some forty men to drag the 
empty boat through the turmoil of waters, while often the 
slightest error on the part of the helmsman would have 
caused the boat to be dashed to pieces on the great rocks 
rising in the midst of the channel. But before arriving at 
the second cataract they had tarried for several days at 
Ibsciak, the city to which their crew belonged. 

They had passed many temples and towns during the 
hundred and eighty miles of journey between Syene and 
this place, but this was the largest of them. Here two great 
grotto temples were in course of construction, the one 
dedicated to the gods Amun and Phre, and built at the 
expense of Rameses himself, the other dedicated to Athor 
by Lofreai the queen. On these temples were engraved the 


records of the victories of Rameses over various nations of 
Africa and Asia. 

Jethro offered, if the boatmen wished to make a longer 
stay here, that he would charter another boat to take them 
further; but they declared their willingness to proceed at 
the end of a week after their arrival, being well satisfied 
with their engagement and treatment. After passing the 
second cataract they arrived at another large town named 
BehnL 1 This was a very large city, and abounded with 
temples and public buildings. The largest temple was dedi 
cated to Thoth. All along the river a belt of cultivated land 
extended for some miles back from the bank; this was 
dotted with numerous villages, and there was no difficulty 
whatever in obtaining food of all kinds. 

At last they reached Semneh, the point to which the 
boatmen had agreed to take them. This was the farthest 
boundary to which at that time the Egyptian power ex 
tended. The river here took a great bend to the east, then 
flowing south and afterwards again west, forming a great 
loop. This could be avoided by cutting across the desert 
to Merawe, a flourishing town which marked the northern 
limit of the power of Meroe, the desert forming a conveni 
ent neutral ground between the two kingdoms. Sometimes 
Egypt under a powerful king carried her arms much further 
to the south, at other times a warlike monarch of Meroe would 
push back the Egyptian frontier almost to Syene; but as a 
rule the Nile as far south as Semneh was regarded as be 
longing to Egypt 

The traders arriving at Semneh generally waited until a 
sufficient number were gathered together to form a strong 
caravan for mutual protection against the natives inhabiting 
the desert, who held themselves independent alike of Egypt 
and of Meroe, and attacked and plundered parties crossing 
the desert, unless these were so strong and well-armed as 
to be able to set them at defiance. Erecting two tents, and 

Now Wady-Halfa. 


landing their goods and merchandise, Jethro and his party 
encamped near the river-bank They had not yet settled 
whether they would cross the desert or continue their jour 
ney by water. 

The choice between the two routes was open to them ; for 
although the traders usually crossed the desert, taking with 
them their lighter and more valuable merchandise, the 
heavier goods made the long detour in boats, going up in 
large flotillas, both for protection against the natives and 
for mutual aid in ascending the rapids which had to be 
encountered. There was no difficulty in hiring another 
boat, for it was the universal rule to make a transhipment 
here, as the Egyptian boatmen were unwilling to enter 
Meroe. The transport beyond this point, therefore, was in 
the hands of the people of this country. 

In consultation with the traders gathered at Semneh 
Jethro learned that it was by no means necessary to proceed 
up the river to the city of Meroe, 1 and thence eastward 
through Axoum, the capital of Abyssinia, to the sea, but 
that a far shorter road existed from the easternmost point 
of the bend of the river direct to the sea. There were, 
indeed, several large Egyptian towns upon the Red Sea, and 
from these a flourishing trade was carried on with Meroe 
and Abyssinia; and the first merchant to whom Jethro 
spoke was much surprised to find that he was in ignorance 
of the existence of the route he had described. 

The journey, although toilsome, was said to be no more 
so than that from Meroe through Axoum, while the distance 
to be traversed was small in comparison. After much con 
sultation it was therefore agreed that the best plan was to 
dispose of the merchandise that they had brought with them 
to one of the traders about to proceed south, retaining only 
sufficient for the payment of the men whom it would be 
necessary to take with them for protection on their journey. 
Jethro had no difficulty in doing this, alleging as his reason 

1 Now Khartoum. 


for parting with his goods that he found that the expenses 
to Meroe would greatly exceed the sum he had calculated 
upon, and that therefore he had determined to proceed no 
further. As they thought it best to allow six months from 
the date of their departure from Thebes to elapse before they 
entered any large Egyptian town, they remained for nearly 
two months at Semneh, and then finding that a flotilla of 
boats was ready to ascend the river they made an arrange 
ment with some boatmen for the hire of their craft to the 
point where they were to leave the river and again set out 
on their journey. 

The difficulties of the journey were very great. After 
travelling for some sixty miles they came to rapids more 
dangerous than any they had passed, and it took the flotilla 
more than a fortnight passing up them, only four or five 
boats being taken up each day by the united labours of the 
whole of the crews. There was great satisfaction when the 
last boat had been taken up the rapids, and there was a 
general feast that evening among the boatmen. During the 
whole time they had been engaged in the passage a number 
of armed scouts had been placed upon the rocky eminences 
near the bank; for the place had an evil reputation, and 
attacks were frequently made by the desert tribesmen upon 
those passing up or down upon the river. 

So far no signs of the presence of hostile natives had been 
perceived. The usual precautions, however, had been taken ; 
the cargoes had all been carried up by hand and deposited 
so as to form a breastwork, and as night closed in several 
sentries were placed to guard against surprise. It had been 
arranged that the men belonging to the boats each day 
brought up should that night take sentinel duty; and this 
evening Jethro, his companions, and boatmen were among 
those on guard. Many of the boats had left Semneh before 
them, and they had been among the last to arrive at the 
foot of the cataracts, and consequently came up in the last 


As owners they had been exempt from the labours of 
dragging up the boats, and had spent much of their time 
during the enforced delay in hunting. They had obtained 
dogs and guides from the village at the foot of the cataracts 
and had had good sport among the ibex, which abounded in 
the rocky hills. The girls had seldom left their cabin after 
leaving Semneh. There was nothing remarkable in the pre 
sence of women in a boat going so far up the river, as many 
of the traders took their wives on their journeys with them. 
When, however, they journeyed beyond Semneh they left 
them there until their return, the danger and hardships of 
the desert journey being too great for them to encounter, 
and it was therefore thought advisable that the girls should 
remain in seclusion. 

Jethro, Amuba, and Chebron were standing together at 
one of the angles of the encampment when the former 
suddenly exclaimed: 

"There are men or animals moving on that steep hill 
opposite! I thought several times I heard the sound of 
stones being displaced. I certainly heard them then." 
Then turning round he raised his voice : "I can hear sounds 
on the hill. It were best that all stood to their arms and 
prepared to resist an attack" 

In an instant the sound of song and laughter ceased 
amidst the groups assembled round the fires and each man 
seized his arms. There was a sharp ringing sound close to 
Jethro, and stooping he picked up an arrow which had 
fallen close to him. 

"It is an enemy!" he shouted. "Draw up close to the 
breastwork and prepare to receive them. Scatter the fires 
at once and extinguish the blazing brands. They can see 
us, while themselves invisible." 

As he spoke a loud and terrible yell rose from the hill 
side and a shower of arrows was poured into the encamp 
ment. Several men fell, but Jethro' s orders were carried 
out and the fires promptly extinguished. 


"Stoop down behind the breastwork," Jethro shouted, 
" until they are near enough for you to take aim. Have 
your spears ready to check their onslaught when they charge.'' 

Although Jethro held no position entitling him to com 
mand, his orders were as promptly obeyed as if he had been 
in authority. The men recognized at once, by the calmness 
of his tones, that he was accustomed to warfare, and readily 
yielded to him obedience. In a minute or two a crowd of 
figures could be seen approaching, and the Egyptians, leap 
ing to their feet, poured in a volley of arrows. The yells and 
screams which broke forth testified to the execution wrought 
in the ranks of the enemy, but without a check they still 
rushed forward. The Egyptians discharged their arrows as 
fast as they could during the few moments left them, and 
then, as the natives rushed at the breastwork, threw down 
their bows, and, grasping the spears, maces, swords, axes, 
or staves with which they were armed, boldly met the foe. 

For a few minutes the contest was doubtful, but encour 
aged by the shouts of Jethro, whose voice could be heard 
above the yells of the natives, the Egyptians defended their 
position with vigour and courage. As fast as the natives 
climbed over the low breastwork of merchandise they were 
either speared or cut down, and after ten minutes' fierce 
fighting their attack ceased as suddenly as it had begun, and 
as if by magic a dead silence succeeded the din of battle. 

" You have done well, comrades," Jethro said, " and de 
feated our assailants; but we had best stand to arms for a 
while, for they may return. I do not think they will, for 
they have found us stronger and better prepared for them 
than they had expected. Still, as we do not know their 
ways, it were best to remain on our guard." 

An hour later, as nothing had been heard of the enemy, 
the fires were relighted and the wounded attended to. Six 
teen men had been shot dead by the arrows of the assailants 
and some fifty were more or less severely wounded by the 
same missiles, while eighteen had fallen in the hand-to-hand 


contest at the breastwork. Thirty-seven natives were found 
dead inside the breastwork How many had fallen before 
the arrows of the defenders the latter never knew, for it 
was found in the morning that the natives had carried off 
their killed and wounded who fell outside the inclosure. 
As soon as the fighting was over Chebron ran down to the 
boat to allay the fears of the girls and assure them that 
none of their party had received a serious wound, Jethro 
alone having been hurt by a spear thrust, which, however, 
glanced off his ribs, inflicting only a flesh wound, which he 
treated as of no consequence whatever. 

"Why did not Amuba come down with you?" Mysa 
asked. "Are you sure that he escaped without injury 1 ?" 

"I can assure you that he has not been touched, Mysa; 
but we are still on guard, for it is possible that the enemy 
may return again, although we hope that the lesson has 
been sufficient for them." 

"Were you frightened, Chebron?" 

" I felt a little nervous as they were coming on, but when 
it came to hand-to-hand fighting I was too excited to think 
anything about the danger. Besides, I was standing be 
tween Jethro and Amuba, and they have fought in great 
battles, and seemed so quiet and cool that I could scarcely 
feel otherwise. Jethro took the command of every one, and 
the rest obeyed him without question. But now I must go 
back to my post. Jethro told me to slip away to tell you 
that we were all safe, but I should not like not to be in my 
place if they attack again." 

"I have often wondered, Ruth," Mysa said when Chebron 
had left them, "what we should have done if it had not 
been for Jethro and Amuba. If it had not been for them 
I should have been obliged to marry Plexo, and Chebron 
would have been caught and killed at Thebes. They arrange 
everything, and do not seem afraid in the slightest." 

"I think your brother is brave, too," Kuth said; "and 
they always consult with him about their plans." 


" Yes; but it is all their doing," Mysa replied. " Chebron, 
before they came, thought of nothing but reading, and was 
gentle and quiet. I heard one of the slaves say to another 
that he was more like a girl than a boy; but being with 
Amuba has quite altered him. Of course, he is not as 
strong as Amuba, but he can walk and run and shoot an 
arrow and shoot a javelin at a mark almost as well as 
Amuba can; still he has not so much spirit. I think 
Amuba always speaks decidedly, while Chebron hesitates 
to give an opinion." 

"But your brother has a great deal more learning than 
Amuba, and so his opinion ought to be worth more, Mysa." 

"Oh, yes, if it were about history or science; for any 
thing of that sort of course it would, Euth, but not about 
other things. Of course, it is natural that they should be 
different, because Amuba is the son of a king." 

"The son of a king?" Ruth repeated in surprise. 

" Yes, I heard it when he first came ; only father said it 
was not to be mentioned, because if it were known he would 
be taken away from us and kept as a royal slave at the 
palace. But he is really the son of a king, and as his father 
is dead he will be king himself when he gets back to his 
own country." 

"And Jethro is one of the same people, is he not 1 ?" Ruth 

" Oh, yes ! they are both Rebu. I think Jethro was one 
of the king's warriors." 

" That accounts," Ruth said, " for what has often puzzled 
me. Jethro is much the oldest of our party, and altogether 
the leader, and yet I have observed that he always speaks 
to Amuba as if the latter were the chief." 

"I have not noticed that," Mysa said, shaking her head: 
" but I do know, now you mention it, that he always asks 
Amuba's opinion before giving his own." 

" I have constantly noticed it, Mysa, and I wondered that 
since he and Amuba were your father's slaves he should 


always consult Amuba instead of your brother; but I under 
stand now. That accounts, too, for Amuba giving his 
opinion so decidedly. Of course, in his own country, 
Amuba was accustomed to have his own way. I am glad of 
that, for I like Amuba very much, and it vexed me some 
times to see him settling things when Jethro is so much 
older. And you think if he ever gets back to his own 
country he will be king 1 ?" 

" I am not sure," Mysa said doubtfully. " Of course, he 
ought to be. I suppose there is some other king now, and 
he might not like to give up to Amuba." 

"I don't suppose we shah 1 ever get there," Euth said. 
"Amuba said the other day that his country lay a great 
distance farther than the land my people came from a long 
time ago." 

"But that is not so very far, Euth. You said that the 
caravans went in six or seven days from that part of Egypt 
where you dwelt to the east of the great sea where your 
fathers came from." 

"But we are a long way from there, Mysa." 

" But if it is only six or seven days' journey why did not 
your people go back again, Euth?" 

" They always hoped to go back some day, Mysa; but I 
don't think your people would have let them go. You see 
they made them useful for building and cutting canals and 
other work. Besides, other people dwell now in the land 
they came from, and these would not turn out unless they 
were beaten in battle. My people are not accustomed to 
fight; besides, they have stopped so long that they have 
become as the Egyptians. For the most part they talk your 
language, although some have also preserved the knowledge 
of their own tongue. They worship your gods, and if they 
were not forced to labour against their will I think now 
that most of them would prefer to live in ease and plenty 
in Egypt rather than journey into a strange country, of 
which they know nothing except that their forefathers 


hundreds of years ago came thence. But here are the 
others," she broke off, as the boat heeled suddenly over as 
some one sprang on board. "Now we shall hear more about 
the fighting." 

The next day the journey was continued, and without 
further adventure the flotilla arrived at last at the town 
where the party would leave the river and strike for the 
coast. Having unloaded their goods and discharged the 
boat, Jethro hired a small house until arrangements were 
made for their journey to the sea-coast. El Makrif 1 was 
a place of no great importance. A certain amount of trade 
was carried on with the coast, but most of the merchants 
trading with Meroe preferred the longer but safer route 
through Axoum. Still parties of travellers passed up and 
down and took boat there for Meroe; but there was an 
absence of the temples and great buildings which had dis 
tinguished every town they had passed between Thebes and 

Jethro upon inquiry found that there were wells at the 
camping-places along the whole route. The people were 
wild and savage, the Egyptian power extending only from 
the sea-shore to the foot of the hills, some fifteen miles 
away. Occasionally expeditions were got up to punish the 
tribesmen for their raids upon the cultivated land of the 
coast, but it was seldom that the troops could come upon 
them, for, knowing every foot of the mountain, these eluded 
all search by their heavy-armed adversaries. Jethro found 
that the custom was for merchants travelling across this 
country to pay a fixed sum in goods for the right of passage. 
There were two chiefs claiming jurisdiction over the road, 
and a messenger was at once despatched to the nearest of 
these with the offer of the usual payment and a request for 
an escort. 

A week later four wild-looking figures presented them 
selves at the house and stated that they were ready to con- 
1 Now called Berber. 


duct the travellers through their chief's territory. Jethro 
had already made arrangements with the head man of the 
place to furnish him with twelve men to carry provisions 
necessary for the journey, and upon the following morning 
the party started, and Mysa and Ruth assumed the garb of 
boys, Jethro finding that although traders might bring up 
the ladies of their family to Semneh, or even take them 
higher up the river in boats, they would never think of 
exposing them to the fatigue of a journey across the moun 
tains, and that the arrival of two girls at the Egyptian town 
on the sea would therefore assuredly attract remark, and 
possibly inquiry, on the part of the authorities. 

For the first few hours the girls enjoyed the change of 
travelling after the long confinement on the boat, but long 
before nightfall they longed for the snug cushions and easy 
life they had left behind. The bearers, heavy laden as they 
were, proceeded at a steady pace that taxed the strength of 
the girls to keep up with after the first few miles were 
passed. The heat of the sun was intense. The country 
after a short distance had been passed became barren and 
desolate. They did not suffer from thirst, for an ample 
supply of fruit was carried by one of the bearers, but their 
limbs ached, and their feet, unused to walking, became 
tender and painful. 

"Can we not stop for a while, Jethro 1" Mysa asked 

Jethro shook his head. 

"We must keep on to the wells. They are two hours 
further yet. They told us at starting that the first day's 
journey was six hours steady walking." 

Mysa was about to say that she could walk no further, 
when Ruth whispered in her ear: 

" We must not give way, Mysa. You know we promised 
that if they would take us with them, we would go through 
all difficulties and dangers without complaining." 

The admonition had its effect Mysa felt ashamed that 


she had been on the point of giving way on the very first 
day of their starting on their real journey, and struggled 
bravely on; but both girls were utterly exhausted by the 
time they arrived at the wells. They felt rewarded, how 
ever, for their sufferings by the hearty commendation Jethro 
bestowed upon them. 

" You have held on most bravely," he said; "for I could 
see you were terribly fatigued. I am afraid you will find 
it very hard work just at first, but after that it will be 
more easy to you. To-morrow's journey is a shorter one." 

It was well that it was so, for the girls were limping even 
at their start, and needed the assistance of Jethro and the 
boys to reach the next halting-place; and as soon as the 
tent, which was separated into two parts by hangings, was 
erected, they dropped upon their cushions, feeling that they 
could never get through another day's suffering like that 
they had just passed. 

Jethro saw that this was so, and told their escort that he 
must halt next day, for that his young sons had been so 
long in the boat that the fatigue had quite overcome them; 
he accompanied the intimation with a present to each of the 
four men. 

They offered no objections, while the porters, who were 
paid by the day, were well contented with the halt 

The day's rest greatly benefited the girls, but it was not 
long enough to be of any utility to their feet; these, how 
ever, they wrapt in bandages, and started in good spirits 
when the porters took up the loads. They were now follow 
ing the course of what in wet weather was a stream in the 
mountains. Sometimes the hills on either side receded a 
little, at others they rose almost perpendicularly on either 
side of the stream, and they had to pick their way among 
great boulders and rocks. This sort of walking, however, 
tired the girls less than progressing along a level. Their 
feet were painful, but the soft bandages in which they were 
enveloped hurt them far less than the sandals in which they 

APES 305 

had at first walked, and they arrived at the halting-place in 
much better condition than on the previous occasions. 

" The worst is over now," Jo thro said to them encourag 
ingly. " You will find each day's work come easier to you. 
You have stood it far better than I expected; and I feel 
more hopeful now that we shall reach the end of our journey 
in safety than I have done since the evening when I first 
agreed to take you with us." 

While passing through some of the ravines the party had 
been greatly amused by the antics of troops of apes. Some 
times these sat tranquilly on the hillside, the elder gravely 
surveying the little caravan, the younger frisking about 
perfectly unconcerned. Sometimes they would accompany 
them for a considerable distance, making their way along 
the rough stones of the hillside at a deliberate pace, but 
yet keeping up with the footmen below. 

As the ape was a sacred animal in Egypt, Mysa was glad 
dened by their sight, and considered it a good omen for the 
success of their journey. The men who escorted them told 
them that if undisturbed the apes never attacked travellers, 
but that if molested they would at once attack in a body 
with such fury that even four or five travellers together 
would have but little chance of escape with their lives. 
During the first week's journey they saw no other animals; 
although at night they heard the cries of hyenas, who often 
came close up to the encampment, and once or twice a deep 
roar which their guide told them was that of a lion. 

On the seventh day, however, soon after they had started 
upon their march, the sound of breaking branches was 
heard among some trees a short distance up the hillside, 
and immediately afterwards the heads of four or five great 
beasts could be seen above the mimosa-bushes which ex 
tended from the wood to the bottom of the hill. The bearers 
gave a cry of terror, and throwing down their loads took 
to their heels. The four men of the escort stood irresolute. 
Although none of Jethro's party had ever before seen an 

(481) U 


elephant, they knew from pictures and carvings, and from 
the great statues in the Island of Elephanta, what these 
great creatures were. 

"Will they attack us 1 ? " Jethro asked the men. 

" They do not often do so," one of them replied; " although 
at times they come down and waste the fields round villages, 
and will sometimes slay any they come across. But it is best 
to get out of their way." 

Jethro pointed out a few of the more valuable packages, 
and taking these up they entered the bushes on the other 
slope of the hill, and made their way among them as far as 
they could. This was, however, but a short distance, for 
they were full of sharp thorns, and offered terrible obstacles 
to passage. All of the party received severe scratches, and 
their garments suffered much, in making their way but 
twenty yards into the bush. 

" That will do," Jethro said. " We shall be torn to pieces 
if we go further ; and we are as much concealed from sight 
here as we should be another hundred yards farther. I 
will see what they are doing." 

Standing up and looking cautiously through the screen of 
feathery leaves, Jethro saw that the elephants were standing 
immovable. Their great ears were erected, and their trunks 
outstretched as if scenting the air. After two or three 
minutes hesitation they continued to descend the hill 

"Are they afraid of man?" Jethro asked one of the 

" Sometimes they are seized with a panic, and fly at the 
approach of a human being; but if attacked they will charge 
any number without hesitation." 

" Do you ever hunt them?" 

"Sometimes; but always with a great number of men. 
It is useless to shoot arrows at them; the only way is to 
crawl out behind and cut the back sinews of their legs. It 
needs a strong man and a sharp sword, but it can be done. 
Then they are helpless, but even then it is a long work to 


despatch them. Generally we drive them from our villages 
by lighting great fires and making noises. Solitary elephants 
are more dangerous than a herd. I have known one of them 
kill a dozen men, seizing some in his trunk and throwing 
them in the air as high as the top of a lofty tree, dashing 
others to the ground, and kneeling upon them until every 
bone is crushed to pieces." 

The elephants had now reached the bottom of the valley, 
and the chief of the escort held up his hand for perfect 
silence. All were prepared to fight if the elephants pursued 
them into the bushes, for further retreat was impossible. 
Amuba and Chebron had fitted their arrows into the bow 
strings, and loosened their swords in the scabbards. The 
four natives had drawn the short heavy swords they carried, 
while Jethro grasped the axe that was his favourite weapon. 
"Remember," he had whispered to the boys, "the back 
sinews of the legs are the only useful point to aim at; if 
they advance, separate, and if they make towards the girls 
try to get behind them and hamstring them." 

There was a long pause of expectation. The elephants 
could be heard making a low snorting noise with their 
trunks ; and Jethro at last raised himself sufficiently to look 
through the bushes at what was going on. The elephants 
were examining the bundles that had been thrown down. 

" I believe that they are eating up our food," he whispered 
as he sat down again. 

Half an hour elapsed, and then there was a sound of 
breaking the bushes. Jethro again looked out. 

"Thank the gods!" he exclaimed, "they are going off 

Trampling down the mimosa thicket as if it had been 
grass, the elephants ascended the opposite hill and at last 
re-entered the wood from which they had first emerged. 
The fugitives waited for a quarter of an hour and then made 
their way out again from the thicket, Jethro cutting a path 
with his axe through the thorns. An exclamation of sur- 


prise broke from them as they gained the open ground. The 
whole of their stores were tossed about in the wildest confu 
sion. Every one of the packages had been opened. Tent, 
garments, and carpets hung upon the bushes as if the ani 
mals had tossed them contemptuously there as being unfit 
to eat. Everything eatable had disappeared. The fruit, 
grain, and vegetables had been completely cleared up. The 
skins of wine were burst; but the contents had been apparently 
appreciated, for none remained in the hollows of the rocks. 

" What greedy creatures ! " Mysa exclaimed indignantly, 
"they have not left us a single thing." 

" They do not often get a chance of such dainty feeding," 
Amuba said. " I don't think we ought to blame them, espe 
cially as they do not seem to have done very much damage 
to our other goods." 

" Look how they have trampled down the bushes as they 
went through. I wish their skins were as thin as mine," 
Mysa said, as she wiped away the blood from a deep scratch 
on her cheek; "they would keep up in their own woods 
then and not con.e down to rob travellers." 

"At any rate, Mysa, we ought to feel indebted to them," 
Chebron said, " for not having pushed their investigations 
further. We should have had no chance either of escape or 
resistance in these bushes. Jethro told us to move round 
and attack them from behind; but moving round in these 
thorns is all very well to talk about, but quite impossible to 
do. Two minutes of active exercise and there would not be 
a morsel of flesh left on one's bones." 

It was two or three hours before the bearers came back 
one by one. They were assailed with fierce reproaches by 
Jethro for the cowardice which had been the means of losing 
all the provisions. Four of their number were at once paid 
off and sent back, as there was no longer anything for them 
to carry. The others would have left also had it not been 
for the escort, who threatened death if they did not at once 
take up their burdens and proceed. For Jethro had been 


liberal with his stores, and they were as indignant as he 
was himself at the sudden stoppage of their rations. 

Three days later they arrived at a small village, which 
marked the commencement of the territory of the second 
chief through whose country the road ran. Here the escort 
and carriers left them, their place being supplied by natives 
of the village. There was no difficulty in obtaining a supply 
of grain and goats'-milk cheese; but these were a poor sub 
stitute for the stores that the elephants had devoured. They 
were too glad, however, at having accomplished half the 
toilsome journey to murmur at trifles, and after a day's halt 
proceeded on their way. Another fortnight's travel and 
they stood on the lower slopes of the hills, and saw across a 
wide belt of flat country the expanse of the sea glistening 
in the sun. 

Two more days' journey and they reached the Egyptian 
trading station. This was situated on a little peninsula 
connected with the mainland by a narrow neck of land, 
across which a massive wall had been built to repulse the 
attacks of the wild tribesmen, who frequently swept down 
and devastated the cultivated fields up to the very wall. 
As soon as they entered the town Jethro was ordered by 
an official to accompany him to the house of the governor. 
Taking Chebron with him, he left it to Amuba to arrange 
for the use of a small house during their stay. 

The governor's inquiries were limited to the state of the 
country, the behavour of the tribesmen along the road, the 
state of the wells, and the amount of provisions obtainable 
along the line of route. 

" There are a party of Arab traders from the other side 
who wish to pass up to carry their goods either to Semneh 
or Meroe, but I have detained them until news should reach 
me from above, for if any wrong should happen to them 
their countrymen might probably enough hold us respon 
sible for their deaths, and this might lead to quarrels and 
loss of trade; but since you have passed through with so 


small a party there can be no fear, and they can arrange 
with the people who brought you down as to the amount 
to be paid to the chiefs for free passage." 

He inquired Jethro's reason for making the journey over 
the mountains instead of proceeding by the Nile. He 
replied that he had received an advantageous offer for all 
his merchandise and had disposed of it to a trader going 
up to Meroe, and that as the Nile had now fallen, and the 
danger in passing down the cataracts was considerable, he 
thought it better to make the short land journey, and to 
travel by sea to Lower Egypt; especially as he was told that 
the natives were now friendly, and that no difficulty would 
be met with on the way. Another reason for his choosing 
that route was, that he might determine whether on his next 
venture it would not be more advantageous to bring down 
his merchandise by ship, and start from the sea-shore for 

"Undoubtedly it would be better," the governor said; 
"but it were wiser to sail another two days' journey down 
the coast and then to journey by way of Axoum." 

A weeks' rest completely recruited the strength of the girls, 
and Jethro then engaged a passage in a trading ship which 
was going to touch at various small ports on its way north. 



riltLK journey was a long one. The winds were often so 
-L light that the vessel scarcely moved, and the heat was 
greater than anything they had felt during their journey. 
They stopped at many small ports on the Arabian side; the 
captain trading with the natives selling to them articles 


of Egyptian manufacture, and buying the products of the 
country for sale in Egypt. The party had, before starting, 
arranged that they would land at ^Elana, a town lying at 
the head of the gulf of the same name, forming the eastern 
arm of the Red Sea. 1 By so doing they would avoid the 
passage through Lower Egypt 

The question had not been decided without long debate. 
By crossing from Arsinoe 2 to Pelusium they would at the 
latter port be able to obtain a passage in a Phoenician 
trader to a port in the north of Syria, and there strike 
across Asia Minor for the Caspian. Jethro was in favour of 
this route, because it would save the girls the long and 
arduous journey up through Syria. They, however, made 
light of this, and declared their readiness to undergo any 
hardships rather than to run the risk of the whole party 
being discovered either upon landing at Arsinoe or on,their 
journey north, when they would pass through the very 
country that Amuba and Chebron had visited, and that 
was inhabited by Ruth's people. 

All allowed that the time had long since passed when the 
authorities would be keeping up a special watch for them; 
but as upon entering port a scribe would come on board 
and make a list of the passengers with their place of birth 
and vocation, for registration in the official records, it would 
be difficult in the extreme to give such answers as would 
avoid exciting suspicion. 

When the vessel reached the mouth of the long and narrow 
gulf the party were struck by the grandeur of the mountains 
that rose from the water's-edge on their left. 

The captain told them that the chief of these was known 
as Mount Sinai, and that barren and desolate as the land 
looked it contained valleys where sheep were pastured, and 
where wandering tribes found a subsistence. No hint had 
been given to the captain that they had any intention of 
cutting short their voyage before arriving at Arsinoe, for it 

1 Now the Gulf of Akabab. * Now Suez. 


would have seemed an extraordinary proceeding for a trader 
journeying with his family to leave the ship at any of the 
Arabian ports. While sailing up the gulf Mysa complained 
of illness, and indeed so overpowered was she by the heat 
that there was but little fiction in the complaint. Upon 
arriving at ^Elana Jethro had her carried on shore, and, 
hiring a house there, stayed on shore while the ship was 
in port. 

There was a small Egyptian garrison in the town, which 
carried on a considerable trade with Moab and the country 
to the east. No attention, however, was paid to the landing 
of the traders, for, as the country beyond the walls of the 
town lay beyond the limit of Egyptian rule, the landing and 
departure of persons at the port was a matter of no interest 
to the authorities. Two days later Jethro went on board 
again and said that his young son was so ill that there was 
no chance of him being able to proceed on the journey, and 
that therefore he must forfeit the passage money paid to 

He said that as it might be many weeks before another 
vessel would come along, he should endeavour to pay his 
way by trading Avith the natives, and he therefore wished to 
purchase from him a portion of his remaining goods suitable 
for the purpose. As the captain saw that he would save 
the provisions for five persons for the month or six weeks 
that the voyage would yet last, and at the same time get 
rid of some of his surplus cargo, he assented without ques 
tion to Jethro's proposal. Several bales of goods were made 
up, consisting principally of cloths of various texture and 
colour of Egyptian manufacture, trinkets, and a selection 
of arms. 

These were landed, and two days later the vessel set sail. 
Jethro caUed upon the Egyptian commandant, and by mak 
ing him a handsome present at once enlisted his aid in his 
enterprise. He said that as he had been detained by the 
illness of his son, and it might be a long time before any 


vessel came, he thought of getting rid of the resfe of the 
merchandise he had brought with him by trade with the 
people of Moab. 

" That you can do if you reach Moab," the Egyptian said, 
" for traders are everywhere well received ; but the journey 
from here is not without dangers. It is a country without a 
master; the people have no fixed abodes, moving here and 
there according as they can find food for their animals, 
sometimes among the valleys of Sinai, sometimes in the 
desert to the east. These people plunder any whom they 
may come across, and not content with plunder might slay 
or carry you away as slaves. Once you have passed through 
as far as Moab you are safe; as you would also be if you 
journeyed to the west of the Salt Lake, into which runs the 
river Jordan. There are many tribes there, all living in 
cities, warlike and valorous people, among whom also you 
would be safe. We have had many wars with them, and 
not always to our advantage. But between us is a sort of 
truce they do not molest our armies marching along by 
the sea-coast, nor do we go up among their hills to meddle 
with them. These are the people who at one time conquered 
a portion of Lower Egypt, and reigned over it for many 
generations until, happily, we rose and drove them out." 

" Is the journey between this and the Salt Lake you speak 
of an arduous one 1 ?" 

" It is by no means difficult, except that it were best to 
carry water upon the journey, for the wells are few and often 
dry; but the country is flat for the whole distance, indeed 
there is a tradition that this gulf at one time extended as far 
north as the Salt Lake. The road, therefore, though stony 
and rough, offers no difficulties whatever; but I should advise 
you, if you determine upon the journey, to leave your 
son behind." 

" It is better for him to travel than to remain here without 
me," Jethro said; " and if we go up through the people you 
speak of to the west of this lake and river, it would be but 


a short journey for us after disposing of our goods to make 
our way down to a port on the great sea, whence we may 
take ship and return quickly to Pelusium, and thus arrive 
home before we should find a ship to take us hence." 

"That is so," the Egyptian said. "The winds are so 
uncertain on these seas, that, as far as time goes, you might 
journey by the route you propose and reach Egypt more 
speedily than you would do if you went on board a ship at 
once. The danger lies almost entirely in the first portion of 
your journey. The caravans that go hence once or twice a 
year through Moab to Palmyra are numerous and well 
armed, and capable of resisting an attack by these robber 
tribesmen. But one left a few weeks ago, and it may be 
some months before another starts." 

" What animals would you recommend me to take with 

"Beyond all doubt camels are the best. They are used 
but little in this country, but come down sometimes with 
the caravans from Palmyra; and I believe that there is at 
present in the town an Arab who possesses six or seven of 
them. He came down with the last caravan, but was taken 
ill and unable to return with it. Doubtless you could make 
a bargain with him. I will send a soldier with you to the 
house he occupies." 

Jethro found that the man was anxious to return to his 
own country, which lay on the borders of Media, and there 
fore directly in the direction which Jethro wished to travel. 
He was, however, unwilling to undertake the journey except 
with a caravan, having intended to wait for the next how 
ever long the time might be; but the sum that Jethro 
offered him for the hire of his animals as far as Palmyra at 
last induced him to consent to make the journey at once, 
bargaining, however, that a party of ten armed men should 
be hired as an escort as far as the borders of Moab. Highly 
pleased with the result of his inquiries, Jethro returned 
home and told his companions the arrangements he had made. 


" I have only arranged for our journey as far as Palmyra," 
he said, " as it would have raised suspicion had I engaged 
him for the whole journey to Media; but of course he will 
gladly continue the arrangement for the whole journey. He 
has bargained for an escort of ten men, but we will take 
twenty. There is ample store of your father's gold still unex 
hausted ; and, indeed, we have spent but little yet, for the 
sale of our goods when we left the boat paid all our expenses 
of the journey up the Nile. Therefore, as this seems to be 
the most hazardous part of our journey, we will not stint 
money in performing it in safety. I have told him that we 
shall start in a week's time. It would not do to leave 
earlier. You must not recover too rapidly from your illness. 
In the meantime I will make it my business to pick out a 
score of good fighting men as our escort." 

In this the Egyptian captain was of use, recommending 
men whose families resided in ^Elana, and would therefore 
be hostages for their fidelity. This was necessary, for no 
small portion of the men to be met with in the little town 
were native tribesmen who had encamped at a short distance 
from its walls, and had come in to trade in horses or the 
wool of their flocks for the cloths of Egypt. Such men as 
these would have been a source of danger rather than of pro 

By the end of the week he had collected a party of twenty 
men, all of whom were to provide their own horses. The 
sum agreed upon for their escort was to be paid into the 
hands of the Egyptian officer, who was to hand it to them 
on their return, with a document signed by Jethro to the 
effect that they had faithfully carried out the terms of their 

Jethro found that the expense of the escort was less than 
he had anticipated, for when the men found that the party 
would be a strong one, therefore capable of protecting itself 
both on the journey out and on its return, they demanded 
but a moderate sum for their services. When the owner of 


the camels learned that they had decided positively to pass 
to the east of the Salt Lake, he advised them strongly, in 
stead of following the valley of ^Elana to the Salt Lake, 
where it would be difficult to obtain water, to take the road 
to the east of the range of hills skirting the valleys, and so 
to proceed through Petra and Shobek and Karik to Hesbon 
in Moab. This was the route followed by all the caravans. 
Villages would be found at very short distances, and there 
was no difficulty whatever about water. 

" My camels," he said, " can go long distances without 
water, and could take the valley route, but the horses would 
suffer greatly." 

Jethro was glad to hear that the journey was likely to be 
less toilsome than he had anticipated; and all the arrange 
ments having been concluded, the party started soon after 
dawn on the day at first fixed upon. 

The girls were still in male attire, and rode in large 
baskets slung one on each side of a camel. The camel- 
driver walked at the head of the animal, leading it by a 
cord. Its fellows followed in a long line, each fastened to 
the one before it. Jethro, Amuba, and Chebron, all armed 
with bows and arrows, as well as swords, rode beside the 
girls' camel. Half the escort went on ahead, the other half 
formed the rear-guard. 

"Which is the most dangerous part of the journey?" 
Jethro asked the camel-driver. 

" That on which we are now entering," he replied. " Once 
we arrive at Petra we are comparatively safe; but this por 
tion of the journey passes over a rough and uninhabited 
country, and it is across this line that the wandering tribes 
men pass in their journeys to or from the pastures round 
Mount Sinai. The steep hills on our left form at once a 
hiding-place and a look-out. There they can watch for trav 
ellers passing along this road, and swoop down upon 

"How long shall we be reaching Petra?" 


"It is three days' fair travelling; but as the beasts are 
fresh, by journeying well on to sundown we could accom 
plish it in two days. After that we can travel at our ease, 
the villages lie but a few miles apart." 

"Let us push on, then, by all means," said Jethro. "We 
can stay a day at Petra to rest the beasts, but let us get 
through this desolate and dangerous country as soon as we 

The girls had been greatly amused at first at the appear 
ance of the strange animal that was carrying them ; but they 
soon found that the swinging action was extremely fatiguing, 
and they would have gladly got down and walked. 

Jethro, however, said that this could not be, for the pace 
of the animal, deliberate though it seemed, was yet too 
great for them to keep up with on foot, and it was needful 
for the first two days to push on at full speed. 

The sun blazed with tremendous force, and was reflected 
from the black rock of the hills and the white sand lying 
between the stones that everywhere strewed the plain along 
which they were travelling, and the heat was terrible. 
After travelling for three hours they halted for an hour, 
and Jethro managed, with the poles, that had been brought 
to form the framework of tents, and some cloths, to fasten 
an awning over the baskets in which the girls were riding. 
The camel had lain down as soon as they halted, and the 
girls stepped into the baskets before they arose. They 
gave a simultaneous cry as the animal rose. They had 
prepared for him to rise on his forelegs, and when his hind 
quarter suddenly rose in the air they were almost thrown 
from their baskets. 

"I don't like this creature a bit," Mysa said, as they 
moved on. "Who would suppose that he was going to 
get up the wrong way first ? Besides, why does he keep on 
grumbling] I am sure that Ruth and I cannot be such 
a very heavy load for such a great beast. I believe he would 
have bit us as we got in if the driver had not jerked the 


rope at its head. It must be much nicer to sit on a horse. 
I am sure that looks easy enough." 

" It is not so easy as it looks, Mysa," Chebron replied ; 
"besides, you know women never do ride horses." 

" They do in our country," Amuba said. " When we get 
there, Mysa, I will teach you how to sit on them." 

"Ah! it is a long way off, Amuba," Mysa replied; "and 
I believe this creature has made up his mind to shake us to 
pieces as soon as he can." 

" You should not try to sit stiff," Jethro said. " Sit quite 
easily, and sway backwards and forwards with the motion 
of the basket. You will soon get accustomed to it, and will 
find that ere long you will be able to sleep as if in a 

They travelled on until the sun was just sinking, and then 
prepared to camp for the night. They had brought with 
them several skins of water, and from these a scanty drink 
was given to each of the horses. A few handfuls of grain 
were also served out to each. The drivers stuck their 
spears firmly into the ground, and to these fastened them. 
The camels were made to kneel down so as to form a square. 
In the centre of this the tent was pitched for the girls, the 
horses being arranged in a circle outside. 

The men had all brought with them flat cakes, and with 
these and a handful of dates they made their meal; and 
there was no occasion for lighting a fire, for Jethro's party 
had brought an ample store of cooked provisions for their 
own use. In a short time quiet reigned in the camp. The 
journey had been a hot and fatiguing one, and the men 
wrapping themselves in their cloaks lay down, each by his 
spear, and were soon asleep, with the exception of four who 
took their posts as sentries. Jethro had agreed with Amuba 
and Chebron that they also would divide the night between 
them, taking it by turns to keep watch. 

The men of the escort were, however, of opinion that 
there was very little probability of any attack before morn- 


ing, even had they been watched by a party among the 

" They could hardly hope to take us by surprise, for they 
would be sure that we should set a watch in the darkness. 
They could not make their way down the hills without some 
noise; besides, they believe the powers of evil are potent 
at night, and seldom stir out of their camps after dark If 
we are attacked at all, it is likely to be just before sunrise." 

Jethro had therefore arranged that Chebron should keep 
the first watch, Amuba the second, and that he himself 
would take charge four hours before daylight. 

The night passed without any cause for alarm. As soon 
as daylight broke the camp was astir. Another ration of 
water and grain was served out to the horses, a hasty meal 
was made by the men, and just as the sun rose the cavalcade 
moved on. They had journeyed but half a mile, when from 
behind a spur of the hills running out in the plain a large 
party were seen to issue forth. There must have been fully 
a hundred of them, of whom some twenty were mounted 
and the rest on foot. The travellers halted and had a short 
consultation. Jethro with one of the escort then rode out 
to meet the advancing party, waving a white cloth in token 
of amity. Two of the Arabs rode forward to meet them. It 
was some time before Jethro returned to the party, who 
were anxiously awaiting the termination of the colloquy. 

"What do they say, Jethro?" Amuba asked as he 
rode up. 

" He says, to begin with, that we ought to have pur 
chased from him the right of travelling across the country. 
I said that I would gladly have paid a moderate sum had I 
been aware that such was required, but that as he was not 
in ^Elana I could not tell that he claimed such a right. At 
the same time I was ready to make an offer of four rolls of 
Egyptian cloth. He rejected the offer with scorn, and after 
a long conversation let me know pretty plainly that he 
intended to take all our goods and animals, and that we 


might think ourselves fortunate in being allowed to pursue 
our way on foot I said that I would consult my friends; 
that if they agreed to his terms we would keep the white 
flag flying, if we refused them we would lower it" 

"Then you may as well lower it at once, Jethro," 
Amuba said. "We might as well be killed at once as 
be plundered of all we possess by these Arab rascals. 
Besides, as there are three and twenty of us, and all 
well armed, we ought to be able to cut our way through 
them. At the worst the girls could mount behind us, and 
we could make a circuit so as to avoid the footmen, and if 
the horsemen ventured to attack us we could soon give a 
good account of them." 

"Yes. But we should lose our seven camel loads of 
goods, and we shall want them for trade as we go along," 
Jethro said. "I propose that we should form the camels 
into a square, as we did last night, that you two and six of 
the men armed with bows and arrows shall occupy it and 
take care of the girls, while the rest of us charge the Arabs. 
If we can defeat the horsemen it is probable that the men 
on foot will draw off. But while we are doing so some of 
those on foot may rush forward and attack you. We will 
take care not to pursue, and you can rely upon our coming 
to your assistance as soon as you are attacked." 

"I think that is the best plan, Jethro. We can keep 
them off for some time with our bows and arrows, for 
certainly Chebron and I can bring down a man with each 
shot at a hundred yards." 

Jethro chose six of the men who professed themselves 
to be good archers. Their horses' legs were tied and the 
animals thrown down just outside the square formed by the 
kneeling camels. Strict instructions were given to the girls 
to lie down, and the saddles and bales were arranged outside 
the camels to shield them from missiles. Then when all 
was prepared the white flag was lowered, and Jethro with 
his fourteen men rode at full gallop against the Arabs. 


Trusting to their somewhat superior numbers the Arab 
horsemen advanced to meet them; but Jethro's party, obeying 
his orders to keep in a close line together with their spears 
levelled in front of them, rode right over the Arabs, who 
came up singly and without order. Men and horses rolled 
over together, several of the former transfixed by the spears 
of the horsemen. Jethro called upon his men to halt, and 
turned upon the Arabs. 

Some of the latter fled towards the footmen, who were 
running up to their assistance, but were pursued and cut 
down. Others fought to the last silently and desperately; 
but these, too, were slain. As soon as the footmen ap 
proached they opened fire with slings and stones. Jethro 
rallied his men and formed them in line again, and at their 
head charged the Arabs. The latter fought steadily. 
Giving way for a moment, they closed in round the little 
party of horsemen, throwing their javelins, and hacking at 
them with their swords. Jethro spurred his horse into 
their midst, dealing blows right and left with his heavy 
axe. His followers pressed after him, and after hard fighting 
cut their way through their opponents. 

Again and again the manoeuvre was repeated, the resist 
ance of the Arabs weakening, as most of their best men had 
fallen, while the large shields carried by the horsemen re 
pelled the greater part of the missiles they hurled at them. 
Another minute or two and the Arabs broke and fled from 
the hills, leaving over twenty of their number on the 
ground, in addition to the whole of their mounted men. 
Jethro had now time to look round, and saw for the first 
time that he had not, as he supposed, been engaged with 
the whole of the enemy's party. While some fifty of 
them had attacked him, the rest had made direct for the 
camels, and were now gathered in a mass around them. 

With a shout to his men to follow him Jethro galloped at 

(481) X 


full speed towards the Arabs, and with a shout flung himself 
upon them, clearing his way through them with his axe. 
He was but just in time. A desperate conflict was raging 
across the camels. At one point several of the Arabs had 
broken into the square, and these were opposed by Amuba, 
Chebron, and one of the men, while the others still held 
back the Arabs on the other side. The arrival of Jethro, 
followed closely by the rest of his men, instantly put a stop 
to the conflict. 

The Arabs no longer thought of attacking, but with 
cries of dismay started for the hills, hotly pursued by the 
horsemen, who followed them until they reached the foot of 
the rocks. As soon as the Arabs gained their fastnesses 
they again betook themselves to their slings, and the horse 
men fell back to the camels. Jethro had not joined in the pur 
suit, but as soon as the Arabs fled had leapt from his horse. 

" You were almost too late, Jethro," Amuba said. 

" I was, indeed," Jethro replied. " I thought that I was 
engaged with the whole of the footmen, and in the heat of 
the fight did not notice that a party had moved off to attack 
you. You are terribly hurt, I fear, both you and Chebron. 
.Are both the girls unharmed?" 

Mysa and Euth had both risen to their feet as soon as the 
attack ceased. 

" We are both safe," Mysa replied. " But oh, how terribly 
you are hurt, both of you; and Jethro, too, is wounded ! " 

"My wound is nothing," Jethro said; "let us look to 
those of Chebron first," for Chebron had sat down against 
one of the camels. 

"Do not be alarmed," Chebron said faintly. "I think it 
is only loss of blood; my shield covered my body." 

"Now, girls," Jethro said, "do you get beyond the 
camels, open one of the bales of cloth, and set to work, tear 
ing it up in stripes for bandages. I will look after these two." 



After an examination of their wounds Jethro was able to 
say that he did not think that any of them would have very 
serious consequences. Both had heen wounded in the leg 
with javelins, the side of Chebron's face was laid open by a 
sword cut, and a spear had cut through the flesh and 
grazed the ribs on the right side. 

Amuba's most serious wound had been inflicted by a 
javelin thrown at him sideways. This had passed com 
pletely through his back under both shoulder-blades, and 
had broken off there. Jethro cut off the ragged end, and 
taking hold of the point protruding behind the left arm, 
drew the shaft through. Then taking some of the ban 
dages from the girls, he bound up all the wounds, and 
then proceeded to examine those of the men who were 
already occupied in staunching the flow of blood from 
their comrades' wounds. It was found that one of the 
defenders of the square was dead and three others severely 

Of Jethro's party two had fallen, and all had received 
wounds more or less severe. Had it not been for the shields 
that covered their bodies, few would have emerged alive 
from the conflict; but these gave them an immense advan 
tage over the Arabs, who carried no such means of protec 
tion. The owner of the camels had escaped unhurt, having 
remained during the fight hidden under some bales. As 
soon as the wounds were all bandaged, and a drink of wine 
and water had been served out to each, the camels were 
unbound and permitted to rise. 

Three of the men most seriously wounded, being unable 
to sit on their horses, were placed on the bales carried by 
camels, and the party again set out. It was well that they 
were obliged to proceed at the pace of the camels, for several 
men could scarcely sit their horses, and could not have done 
so at a pace exceeding a walk. 


" Now, Amuba, let us hear about your fight," Jethro said. 
" I have not had time to ask a question yet." 

"There is nought to tell," Amuba said. "We saw you 
charge down upon their horsemen and destroy them, and 
then ride into the middle of their foot. At once a party of 
about thirty strong detached themselves and made straight 
for us. As soon as they came within range of our arrows 
we began. I shot four before they reached us, and I think 
Chebron did the same; but the men with us shot but poorly, 
and I do not think that they can have killed more than 
seven or eight between them. However, altogether, that 
accounted for about half their number, and there were only 
about fifteen who got up to a hand-to-hand fight with us. 
For a bit, aided by our breastwork, we kept them out. But 
at last they managed to spring over, and although we were 
doing our best, and several of them had fallen, we had been 
wounded, and it would have gone very hard with us in 
another minnte or two if you had not come up to the rescue. 
Now let us hear what you were doing." 

Jethro then described the encounter he and his party had 
had with the footmen. 

" They fight well, these Arabs," he said, " and it was well 
for us that we all carried shields ; for had we not done so 
they would have riddled us with their javelins. As you see, 
I had a narrow escape; for had that dart that went through 
my ear been an inch or two to the right it would have 
pierced my eye. I have two or three nasty gashes with 
their swords on the legs, and I think that most of the other 
men came out worse than I did. It was lucky that they did 
not strike at the horses; but I suppose they wanted them, 
and so avoided inflicting injury on them. However, it has 
been a tough fight, and we are well out of it. I hope I shall 
not be called on to use my battle-axe again until I am 
fighting in the ranks of the Rebu." 

AT PETRA. 325 



WHEN they neared Petra a horn was heard to blow, and 
people were seen running about among the houses. 

" They take us for a party of Arabs," one of the horse 
men said. " As I have often been through the town and 
am known to several persons here, I will, if you like, hurry 
on and tell them that we are peaceful travellers." 

The party halted for a few minutes, and then moved 
slowly forward again. By the time they reached the town 
the news that the party were traders had spread, and the 
people were issuing from their houses. These were small, 
and solidly built of stone. They were but one story high. 
The roof was flat, with a low wall running round it, and the 
houses had but one door, opening externally. This was 
very low and narrow, so that those inside could offer a 
determined resistance against entry. As the town stood on 
the slope of the hill, and the roofs of the lower houses were 
commanded by those from above, the place was capable of 
offering a determined resistance against marauding tribes. 
The head man of the place met the travellers and conducted 
them to an empty house, which he placed at their disposal, 
and offered a present of fowls, dates, and wine. The news 
that a heavy defeat had been inflicted upon one of the wander 
ing bands excited satisfaction, for the interference of these 
plunderers greatly affected the prosperity of the place, as 
the inhabitants were unable to trade with ^Elana unless 
going down in very strong parties. Every attention was 
paid to the party by the inhabitants. Their wounds were 
bathed and oil poured into them, and in the more serious 


cases boiled herbs of medicinal virtue were applied as 
poultices to the wounds. 

Petra at that time was but a large village, but it after 
wards rose into a place of importance. The travellers 
remained here for a week, at the end of which time all 
save two were in a fit state to continue their journey. 

Without further adventure the journey was continued to 
Moab. On their arrival here the escort was dismissed, each 
man receiving a present in addition to the stipulated rate of 
pay that they were to draw upon their return to ^Elana. 

Moab was a settled country. It contained no large towns ; 
but the population, which was considerable, was gathered 
in small villages of low stone-built houses, similar to those 
in Petra. The inhabitants were ready to trade. Their 
language was strange to Jethro and Amuba; but it was 
closely related to that spoken by Ruth, and she generally 
acted as interpreter between Jethro and the natives. After 
travelling through Moab, they took the caravan road across 
the desert to the north-east, passed through the oasis of 
Palmyra, a large and flourishing city, and then journeyed 
on to the Euphrates. They were now in the country of the 
Assyrians, and not wishing to attract attention or questions, 
they avoided Nineveh and the other great cities, and kept 
on their way north until they reached the mountainous 
country lying between Assyria and the Caspian. 

They met with many delays upon the way, and it was six 
months after leaving ^Elana before, after passing through a 
portion of Persia, they reached the country inhabited by the 
scattered tribes known by the general name of Medes, and to 
whom the Kebu were related. Through this country Thotmes 
had carried his arms, and most of the tribes acknowledged the 
dominion of Egypt, and paid a tribute to that country, Egyp 
tian garrisons being scattered here and there among them. 

Jethro and Amuba now felt at home, but as they deter- 


mined that when they reached their own country they 
would, until they found how matters were going on there, 
disguise their identity, they now travelled as Persian 
traders. Long before reaching Persia they had disposed 
of the stock of goods with which they started, and had now 
supplied themselves with articles of Persian manufacture. 
They thus passed on unquestioned from village to village, 
as the trade in those regions was entirely carried on by 
Persian merchants, that country having already attained a 
comparatively high amount of civilization ; while the Median 
tribes, although settled down into fixed communities, had 
as yet but little knowledge of the arts of peace. The party 
journeyed in company with some Persian traders, and gradu 
ally worked their way north until they arrived at the first 
Rebu village. 

They had many times debated the question of the part 
they should here play, and had agreed that it would be 
better to continue to maintain their character as Persian 
traders until they had learned the exact position of affairs. 
In order to be able to keep up their disguise they had laid in 
a fresh stock of Persian goods at the last large town through 
which they passed. Had Jethro been alone he could at 
once have declared himself, and would have been received 
with joy as one who had made his way back from captivity 
in Egypt; but for Amuba there would have been danger in 
his being recognized until the disposition of the occupant of 
the throne was discovered. There would, indeed, have been 
small chance of his being recognized had he been alone. 
Nearly four years had elapsed since he had been carried 
away captive, and he had grown from a boy into a powerful 
young man ; but had Jethro been recognized his companion's 
identity might have been suspected, as he was known to have 
been the special mentor and companion of the young prince. 

As to Amuba he had no desire whatever to occupy the 


throne of the Rebu, and desired only to reside quietly in his 
native country. The large sum that Ameres had handed 
over to the care of Jethro had been much diminished by the 
expenses of their long journey, but there was still ample to 
insure for them ah 1 a good position in a country where 
money was not abundant. 

In their journey through Persia they had picked up many 
of the words of that language differing from those of the 
Rebu, and using these in their conversation they were able 
to pass well as traders who in their previous journeys in the 
land had acquired a fair knowledge of the dialect of the 
people. They soon learned that an Egyptian garrison still 
occupied the capital, that the people groaned under the 
exactions necessary to pay the annual tribute, and that the 
general Amusis, who had, as Amuba's father expected he 
would do, seized the throne of the Rebu after the departure 
of the main Egyptian army, was in close intimacy with the 
Egyptian officials, and was in consequence extremely un 
popular among the people. He had, on his accession to 
power, put to death all the relatives of the late king who 
could be considered as rival claimants for the throne, and 
there could be little doubt that did he suspect that Amuba 
had returned from Egypt he would not hesitate to remove 
him from his path. 

Amuba had several long consultations with Jethro as to 
his course. He repeated to him the conversation that he 
had had with his father on the day previous to the battle 
in which the latter was slain, how he had warned him 
against the ambition of Amusis, and advised him rather than 
risk the chances of civil war in endeavouring to assert his 
rights, to collect a body of adherents, and to seek a new 
home in the far west. Jethro, however, was strongly of 
opinion that tho advice, although excellent at the time, was 
no longer appropriate. 


"To begin with, Amuba, you were then but a boy of 
sixteen, and engaged as we were in war with Egypt the 
people would naturally have preferred having a well-known 
and skilful general at their head to a boy whom they could 
not hope would lead them successfully in war. You are now 
a man. You have had a wide experience. You have an 
acquaintance with the manners and ways of our conquerors, 
and were you on the throne could do much for the people, 
and could promote their welfare by encouraging new methods 
of agriculture and teaching them something of the civiliza 
tion in Egypt. 

" In the second place, in the four years that have elapsed 
Amusis has had time to make himself unpopular. The 
necessity for heavy taxation to raise the annual tribute has 
naturally told against him, to say nothing of the fact that 
he is said to be on friendly terms with our foreign oppressors. 
Therefore the chances would be all in your favour." 

" But I have no desire to be king," Amuba replied. " I 
want to live in quiet contentment." 

"You are born to be king, Prince Amuba," Jethro said; 
" it is not a matter of your choice. Besides it is evident that 
for the good of the people it is necessary that the present 
usurper should be overthrown and the lawful dynasty re 
stored. Besides this it is clear that you cannot live in peace 
and contentment as you say: you might at any moment be 
recognised and your life forfeited. As to the original plan, 
I am sure that your father would not have advocated it 
under the changed circumstances; besides I think you have 
had your fair share of wandering and dangers. 

"Moreover, I suppose you would hardly wish to drag 
Mysa with you on your journey to an unknown country, 
where all sorts of trials and struggles must unquestionably be 
encountered before you succeed in founding a new settle 
ment. I suppose," he said with a smile, " you would not 


propose leaving her here to whatever fate might befall her. 
I fancy from what I have seen during the last six months 
that you have altogether other intentions concerning her." 

Amuba was silent for some time. 

" But if Amusis is supported by the Egyptians," he said 
at last, "and is viewed by them as their ally, I should not 
be able to overthrow him without becoming involved in 
hostilities with them also. It is not," he went on, seeing that 
Jethro was about to speak, "of the garrison here that I am 
thinking, but of the power of Egypt behind it. Did I over 
throw Amusis and defeat the Egyptians, his friends, I should 
bring upon my country a fresh war with Egypt." 

" Egypt is, as we have found, a very long way off, Amuba. 
Occasionally a warlike monarch arises under whom her arms 
are carried vast distances, and many nations are brought 
under her sway, but such efforts are made but rarely, and 
we lie at the extremest limit of her power. Thotmes him 
self has gained sufficient glory. He was absent for years from 
his country, and at the end of long journeyings returned 
home to enjoy the fruits of his victories. It is not likely 
that he would again start on so long an expedition merely to 
bring so distant a corner of the land subject to Egypt again 
under her sway. The land is stripped of its wealth, there 
is nothing to reward such vast toil, and the outlay that 
would be required to carry out such an expedition, and it 
may be generations before another monarch may arise 
thirsting like Thotmes for glory, and willing to leave the 
luxuries of Egypt for a course of distant conquest. 

" Besides, Egypt has already learnt to her cost that the 
Rebu are not to be overcome bloodlessly, and that defeat is 
just as likely as victory to attend her arms against us. 
Therefore I do not think that the thought of the vengeance 
of Egypt need deter you. In other respects the present 
occupation by them is in your favour rather than other- 


wise, for you will appear before the people not only as their 
rightful king but as their liberator from the hated Egyptian 

"You are right, Jethro," Amuba said after a long silence; 
"it is my duty to assert my rights and to restore the land 
to freedom. My mind is made up now. What is your 
advice in the matter 1 ?" 

" I should journey through the land until we reach a port 
by the sea frequented by Persian traders, and should there 
leave the two girls in charge of the family of some trader in 
that country; there they can remain in tranquillity until 
matters are settled. Chebron will, I am sure, insist upon 
sharing our fortunes. Our long wanderings have made a 
man of him, too. They have not only strengthened his 
frame and hardened his constitution, but they have given 
stability to his character. He is thoughtful and prudent, 
and his advice will always be valuable, while of his courage 
I have no more doubt than I have of yours. When you 
have once gained your kingdom you will find in Chebron 
a wise councillor, one on whom you can lean in all times of 

" When we have left the girls behind we will continue 
our journey through the land, and gradually put ourselves 
into communication with such governors of towns and other 
persons of influence as we may learn to be discontented 
with the present state of things, so that when we strike our 
blow the whole country will declare for you at once. As 
we travel we will gradually collect a body of determined 
men for the surprise of the capital. There must be numbers 
of my old friends and comrades still surviving, and there 
should be no difficulty in collecting a force capable of 
capturing the city by a surprise." 

Jethro's plans were carried out, and the girls placed under 
the care of the wife of a Persian trader in a seaport close to 


the frontier of Persia, the others then started upon their 
journey, still travelling as Persians. Jethro had little diffi 
culty in discovering the sentiments of the principal men in 
the towns through which they passed. Introducing himself 
first to them as a Persian trader desirous of their protection 
in travelling through the country, he soon disclosed to them 
his own individuality. 

To many of them he was known either personally or by 
repute. He informed them that he had escaped from Egypt 
with Amuba, but he led them to believe that his companion 
was waiting in Persian territory until he learnt from him 
that the country was ripe for his appearance ; for he thought 
it best in no case to disclose the fact that Amuba was with 
him, lest some of those with whom he communicated should 
endeavour to gain rewards from the king by betraying him. 
His tidings were everywhere received with joy, and in many 
cases Jethro was urged to send at once for Amuba and to 
show him to the people, for that all the land would instantly 
rise on his behalf. 

Jethro, however, declared that Amuba would bide his 
time, for that a premature disclosure would enable the king 
to call together a portion of the army which had formerly 
fought under his orders, and that with the assistance of the 
Egyptians he might be able to form a successful resistance 
to a popular rising. 

"I intend," he said, "if possible, to collect a small force 
to seize the person of the usurper by surprise, and so paralyse 
resistance; in which case there would only be the Egyptians 
to deal with, and these would be starved out of their fortress 
long before assistance could reach them." 

After visiting most of the towns Jethro and his compan 
ions journeyed through the villages remote from the capital 
Here the king's authority was lightly felt save when troops 
arrived once a year to gather in the taxes. Less caution 


was therefore necessary, and Jethro soon made himself 
known, and began to enlist men to the service. This he 
had no difficulty in doing. The news that an attempt was 
at once to be made to overthrow the usurper and to free the 
land of the Egyptians, and that at the proper time the right 
ful king would present himself and take the command, was 
received with enthusiasm. 

In each valley through which they passed the whole of the 
young men enrolled themselves, receiving orders to remain 
perfectly quiet and to busy themselves in fabricating arms, 
of which the land had been stripped by the Egyptians, until 
a messenger arrived summoning them to meet at a rendez 
vous on an appointed day. 

In six weeks the numbers of the enrolled had reached 
the point that was considered necessary for the enterprise, 
and a day was fixed on which they were to assemble among 
the hills a few miles distant from the town. Upon the 
appointed day the bands began to arrive. Jethro had pur 
chased cattle and provisions, and receiving each band as it 
arrived formed them into companies and appointed their 
leaders. Great fires were lighted, and the cattle slaughtered. 
Chebron aided in the arrangements; but Amuba, by Jethro's 
advice, passed the day in a small tent that had been pitched 
in the centre of the camp. 

By the evening the whole of the contingents had arrived, 
and Jethro saw with satisfaction the spirit that animated 
them all, and the useful if somewhat rough weapons that 
they had fashioned. When all assembled he drew them up 
in a body; and after a speech that excited their patriotic 
feelings to the utmost, he went to the tent, and leading 
Amuba forth presented him to them as their king. 

He had in his journeys through the towns procured from 
some of the principal men arms and armour fitted for per 
sons of high rank, which had been lying concealed since the 


conquest by the Egyptians. Amuba was accoutred in these, 
and as he appeared at the door of his tent a wild shout of 
greeting burst from the troops, and breaking their ranks 
they rushed forward, and throwing themselves on their faces 
round him, hailed him as their king, and promised to follow 
him to the death. 

It Avas a long time before the enthusiasm and excitement 
abated, then Amuba addressed his followers, promising them 
deliverance from the Egyptian yoke, and from the taxation 
under which they so long groaned. 

A week was spent in establishing order and discipline in 
the gathering, sentries being placed at a distance round the 
camp to prevent any stranger entering, or any one leaving 
to carry the news to the city. In the meantime trusted 
men were sent to the town to ascertain the exact position 
of affairs there, and to learn whether the garrison had 
been placed on their guard by any rumours that might 
have reached the town of disaffection in the country dis 
tricts. They returned with the intelligence that although 
reports had been received that the late king's son had escaped 
captivity in Egypt, and would shortly appear to claim his 
rights, the news had been received with absolute incredulity, 
the king and his Egyptian allies scoffing at the idea of a 
captive making his escape from Egypt and traversing the 
long intervening distance. So complete had been the quiet 
throughout the country since the Egyptian occupation that 
the garrison had ceased to take any precautions whatever. 
No watch was set, and the gates of the city were seldom 
closed even at night. 

The plans were now finally arranged. Jethro, with a band 
of two hundred men, was to enter the town in the daytime; 
some going down to the next port and arriving by sea, 
others entering singly through the gates. At midnight they 
were to assemble in the square round the palace, which was 


to be suddenly attacked. Amuba, with the main body, was 
to approach the city late in the evening, and to station them 
selves near one of the gates. 

Jethro was before the hour named for the attack to see 
whether this gate was open and unguarded, and if he found 
that it was closed and under charge of an Egyptian guard, 
he was to tell off fifty men of his command to attack 
and overpower the Egyptians, and throw open the gate the 
instant they heard the trumpet, which was to be the signal 
for the attack of the palace. Jethro's party were, therefore, 
the first to start, going off in little groups, some to the neigh 
bouring ports, others direct to the city. Jethro himself was 
the last to set out, having himself given instructions to each 
group as they started as to their behaviour and entry into 
the city, and the rendezvous at which they were to assemble. 
He also arranged that if at any time they should hear his call 
upon the horn, which was to be repeated by three or four 
of his followers, who were provided with similar instru 
ments, they were to hurry to the spot at the top of their 

" One can never tell," he said, when he told Amuba 
the orders he had given, "what may happen. I believe 
that every man here is devoted to you, but there may al 
ways be one traitor in a crowd; but even without that, some 
careless speech on the part of one of them, a quarrel with 
one of the king's men or with an Egyptian, and the number 
of armed men in the city might be discovered, for others 
would run up to help their comrade, and the broil would 
grow until all were involved. Other reasons might render 
it advisable to strike at an earlier hour than I arranged." 

" I cannot think so," Amuba replied. " I should say if 
anything were to precipitate affairs it would be most prejudi 
cial. You, with your small force, would be certain to be 
overwhelmed by the large body of followers whom, as we 


have learned, the king keeps in his palace, to say nothing of 
the Egyptians. In that case not only would you lose your 
lives, but you would put them so thoroughly upon their 
guard, that our enterprise at night would have little chance 
of success." 

" That is true," Jethro said; " and I certainly do not mean 
to make the slightest variation from the plan we agreed 
upon unless I am driven to it. Still it is as well to be pre 
pared for everything." 

" Of course I know that you will do nothing that is rash, 
Jethro. After being all these years my guide and councillor, 
I know that you would do nothing to endanger our success 
now that it seems almost assured." 

Jethro had in fact a reason for wishing to be able to col 
lect his men suddenly which he had not mentioned to Amuba. 
He thought it possible that, as he had said, at the last mo 
ment the plot might by some means or other be discovered. 
And his idea was that if that were the case he would instantly 
gather his followers and attack the palace, trusting to sur 
prise and to his knowledge of the building in the endeavour 
to fight his way to the king's abode and slay him there, 
even if he himself and his men were afterwards surrounded 
and cut to pieces. The usurper once removed, Jethro had 
no doubt that the whole nation would gladly acknowledge 
Amuba, who would then have only the Egyptian garrison 
to deal with. 

No such accident, however, happened. The men entered 
the town unnoticed. Those who had come by boat, and 
who were for the most part natives of villages along the 
shore, remained in the lower town near the landing-place. 
Such of them as had friends went to their houses. Those 
who entered the gates sauntered about the town singly or 
in pairs, and as their weapons were hidden they attracted 
no notice, having the appearance of men who had come in 


from the country round to dispose of their produce or the 
spoils of the chase, or to exchange them for such articles as 
were required at home. Jethro went at once to the house 
of an old friend with whom he had already communicated 
by messenger. 

The house was situated on the open space facing the 
palace. Here from time to time he received messages from 
his sub-leaders, and learned that all was going on well. He 
heard that the continual rumours from the country of the 
approaching return of the son of the late king had at last 
caused some anxiety to the usurper, who had that morning 
seized and thrown into prison several leading men who were 
known to be personally attached to the late king. Not 
indeed that he believed that Amuba could have returned; 
but he thought it possible that some impostor might be 
trading on his name. 

Several bodies of men had been despatched from the 
town to the places whence these rumours had been received, 
to ascertain what truth there was in them, and to suppress 
at once any signs of revolt against the king's authority. 
This was highly satisfactory news to Jethro, as in the first 
place it showed that the king did not dream of danger in his 
capital: and, in the second place, it reduced the number of 
fighting men in the palace to a number but slightly exceed 
ing the force at his own disposal. 

Jethro did not stir abroad until nightfall, his face being 
so well known in the town that he might at any moment be 
recognized. But as soon as it was dark he went out, and, 
accompanied by his friend, went round the town. He found 
that some changes had taken place since he had last been 
there. The Egyptians had entirely cleared away the huts 
towards the end of the rock farthest from the sea, and had 
there erected large buildings for the use of the governor, offi 
cers, and troops ; and had run a wall across from the walls on 

(481) Y 


either side, entirely separating their quarter from the rest of 
the town. Jethro's friend informed him that the erection of 
these buildings had greatly added to the hatred with which 
the Egyptians were regarded, as they had been erected with 
forced labour, the people being driven in by thousands, and 
compelled to work for many months at the buildings. 

Jethro learned that as soon as the inner wall was com 
pleted the Egyptians had ceased altogether to keep watch 
at the gates of the city walls, but that they had for a long 
time kept a vigilant guard at the gate leading to their 
quarters through the new wall. For the last year, however, 
owing to the absence of any spirit of revolt among the Eebu, 
and to their confidence in the friendship of the king, they 
had greatly relaxed their vigilance. 

By nine o'clock all was quiet in the town. Jethro sent out 
a messenger by the road by which Amuba's force would 
approach, to tell him that the city walls were all unguarded, 
and that he had better enter by the gate half an hour before 
midnight, instead of waiting until he heard the signal for 
attack He could then move his men up close to the Egyp 
tian wall so as to attack that gate when the signal was given, 
otherwise the Egyptians would be put on their guard by 
the sound of fighting at the palace before he could arrive at 
their gate. 

At the time he had named Jethro went to the gate by 
which Amuba was to enter, and soon heard a faint confused 
noise, and a minute or two later a dark mass of men were at 
the path at the gate. They were headed by Amuba. Jethro 
at once explained to him the exact position; and his com 
panion placed himself by the side of Amuba to act as his 
guide to the Egyptian wall. 

Jethro then returned to the rendezvous, where his men 
were already drawn up in order. Midnight was now close 
at hand. Quietly the band crossed the square to the gate 


of the palace; then Jethro gave a loud blast of his horn, 
and in an instant a party of men armed with heavy axes 
rushed forward and began to hew down the gate. As the 
thundering noise rose on the night air cries of terror, and 
the shouts of officers were heard within the royal inclosure. 
Then men came hurrying along the wall, and arrows began to 
fall among the assailants; but by this time the work of the 
axemen was nearly done, and in five minutes after the first 
blow was struck the massive gates fell splintered and Jethro 
rushed in at the head of his band. 

The garrison, headed by the usurper himself, endeavoured 
to stem their inrush; but, taken by surprise, half-armed, 
and ignorant of the numbers of their assailants, they could 
not long withstand the determined onslaught of Jethro's 
men. Jethro himself made his way through the crowd of 
fighting men and engaged in a hand-to-hand fight with the 
usurper, who, furious with rage and despair at the sudden 
capture of the palace, fought but wildly, and Jethro's heavy 
axe soon terminated the conflict by hewing clean through 
helmet and head. 

The fall of the usurper was for the moment unnoticed in 
the darkness and confusion, but Jethro shouted to his men 
to hold their hands and fall back. Then he called upon the 
garrison to surrender, telling them that Amusis had fallen, 
and that Amuba, the son of Phrases, had arrived, and was 
now king of the Kebu. 

"We do not war against our own people. The Egyptians 
are our only enemies. Some of you may know me. I am 
Jethro, and I call upon you to join us and make common 
cause against the Egyptians, who are even now being 
attacked by our young king." 

The garrison were but too glad to accept the terms. Fear 
rather than love had attached them to Amusis; and they 
were delighted to escape the prospect of death, which had 


the moment before stared them in the face, and to swear 
allegiance to their rightful king. As Jethro ceased, there 
fore, shouts of "Long live Amuba, king of the Eebu!" rose 
from them. 

" Form up in order instantly under your captains," Jethro 
commanded, " and follow us." 

The fray had been so short that it was but ten minutes 
from the moment when Jethro's horn had given the signal 
for attack to that when he led his force, now increased to 
twice its former dimensions, to the assistance of Amuba. 
When he reached the wall that separated the Egyptian 
barracks from the rest of the town he found that Amuba had 
entered without resistance and had captured two or three 
buildings nearest to the gate, surprising and slaying their 
occupants; but beyond that he had made no progress. The 
Egyptians were veterans in warfare, and after the first 
moment of surprise had recovered their coolness, and with 
their flights of arrows so swept the open spaces between the 
buildings that the Kebu could make no progress. 

Jethro ordered the troops who had just joined him, all of 
whom carried bows and arrows, to ascend the walls and 
open fire upon the buildings occupied by the Egyptians. 
Then he with his own band joined Amuba. 

"All has gone well," he said. " The palace is captured 
and Amusis slaia I would do nothing further to-night 
The Egyptians are four thousand strong, while we have but 
half that number. It would be madness to risk a repulse 
now. I will send off messengers at once to the governors 
of all the towns and to our friends there, informing them 
that the usurper is slain, that you are proclaimed king and 
are now besieging the Egyptians in their quarters, and 
ordering them to march hither at once with every man 
capable of bearing arms. 

" In three days we shall have twenty thousand men here, 



and the Egyptians, finding their position hopeless, will sur 
render; whereas, if you attack now, we may be repulsed 
and you may be slain, and in that case the country, left 
without a leader, will fall again into slavery." 

Amuba, whose armour had already been pierced by several 
arrows and who was bleeding freely, was with some difficulty 
persuaded by Jethro to adopt his counsel. He saw at last 
that it was clearly the wisest plan to adopt, and orders were 
at once issued to the men to desist from further assaults, but 
to content themselves with repelling any attacks the Egyp 
tians might make. 

These, however, were too ignorant as to the strength of 
their assailants to think of taking the offensive, and until 
morning both sides contented themselves with keeping up 
an incessant fire of arrows against the openings in the build 
ings occupied by their foes. In the morning Amuba ordered 
some green branches to be elevated on the flat terrace of 
the house he occupied. The signal was observed, and the 
fire of the Egyptians ceased. As soon as it did so Jethro 
presented himself on the terrace, and a minute or two later 
the Egyptian governor appeared on the terrace of the oppo 
site building. Not a little surprised was he to hear himself 
addressed in his own language. 

" In the name of King Amuba, son of King Phrases and 
lawful ruler of the Rebu, I, Jethro his general, summon you 
to surrender. The usurper Amusis is dead and the whole 
land has risen against you. Our force is overpowering 
resistance can only result in the death of every Egyptian 
under your orders. Did we choose we could starve you out, 
for we know that you have not more than a week's provi 
sions in your magazines. 

"There is no possibility that assistance can reach you. 
No messenger could pass the watchers in the plain; and could 
they do so your nearest force is hundreds of miles away, 


and is of no strength to fight its way hither. In the name 
of the king I offer to allow you to depart, carrying with you 
your arms and standards. The king has been in your coun 
try. He knows how great and powerful is your nation, and 
fain would be on terms of friendship with it; therefore he 
would inflict no indignity upon you. The tribute which 
your king laid upon the land is far more than it can pay, 
but the king will be willing to send every year, to the nearest 
garrison to his frontiers, a tribute of gold and precious stones 
of one-fifth the value of that which has been until now 
wrung from the land. This he will do as a proof of the 
honour in which he holds your great nation, and as a recog 
nition of its power. The king ordered me to say that he 
will give you until to-morrow morning to reflect over his 
offer. If it is refused the whole garrison will be put to the 

So saying Jethro descended from the terrace, leaving the 
Egyptians to consider the terms he proposed. 



r|l.hLE offer that Amuba had made through Jethro was a 
JL politic one, and he was influenced by two motives in 
granting a delay of twenty-four hours before receiving the 
answer. In the first place, he felt sure that his own force 
would, before the conclusion of that time, be trebled in 
strength, and that should the Egyptians refuse he would be 
able to repel any efforts they might make to cut their way 
out until he would be at the head of such a force that he 


could at will either storm their positions or, as he intended, 
beleaguer them until starvation forced them to surrender. 

In the second place, he thought that the Egyptian answer, 
if given at once, would probably be a refusal ; but the time 
for reflection would enable them to look their position in the 
face and to recognize its hopelessness. On the one side would 
be certain defeat and death, on the other their general would 
lead out his command intact and without dishonour. Al 
though he had threatened to put the garrison to the sword 
in case they refused, Amuba had no intention to carry out 
his threat, but on the contrary had determined that even 
were the Egyptians forced to surrender by famine he would 
freely grant them the same terms he now offered. 

He knew the proud and haughty nature of the Egyptians, 
and that the news of the massacre of a great garrison and 
the successful rising of a tributary province would excite 
such deep feeling that sooner or later an army would be 
despatched to avenge the disaster. If, however, the garrison 
left the country with their arms and standards no disgrace 
would be inflicted upon the national arms, and as a tribute, 
however much reduced, would still be paid, they could still 
regard the Eebu as under their domination. The reduction 
of the tribute, indeed, would be an almost imperceptible 
item in the revenue of Egypt. 

Leaving Jethro in command of the beleaguering force, 
Amuba, accompanied by Chebron, who had been by his 
side during the fighting, and a small body-guard, went back 
into the town. The news of his coming had already spread, 
and the inhabitants, who had remained in their houses in 
terror during the, to them, unaccountable tumult of the 
night, had now poured out into the streets, the great space 
in front of the palace being densely packed with people. 
As Amuba approached a deafening shout of welcome was 
raised; the gates of the prisons had been thrown open, and 


those arrested the previous day, and many others of the 
principal captains of his father's army, thronged round him 
and greeted him as their king. 

With difficulty a way was cleared to the gate of the royal 
inclosure. Amuba, after entering, mounted the wall and 
addressed a few words to the people. He told them that in 
defiance of all probability he had escaped from his captivity 
in Egypt and had made his way back to his native land, 
intent not so much -on claiming his rightful position there 
as of freeing them from the power of their oppressors. He 
promised them that he would always respect their rights 
and usages, and should endeavour to follow in the footsteps 
of his father. Then he retired to the palace, where he held 
a council with the captains and leading men in the city. 
Orders were at once issued for every man capable of bearing 
arms to provide himself with some kind of weapon, and to 
assemble at noon in the great square. 

Lists were drawn up of all the officers of the late army 
still living in the town, and when the gathering took place 
at noon these were appointed to form the men into com 
panies, to appoint sub-officers, to see to the state of the arms, 
and, as far as possible, to supply deficiencies. A larger pro 
portion than was expected of the three thousand men that 
assembled were found to be provided with weapons. Al 
though nominally all arms had been surrendered to the 
Egyptians great numbers of spear and arrow-heads, swords, 
and axes had been buried. Shafts had been hastily made 
for the spears, and bows used for the purposes of the chase 
were now brought out to do service as fighting weapons. 

Many hundreds of spears and swords had been found in 
the stores at the palace, and when these were served out 
most of the men had a weapon of some sort. They were at 
once marched up to the Egyptian inclosure. Those with 
bows and arrows were placed upon the walls, the rest were 


massed near the gate in readiness to advance to the assist 
ance of the band within should the Egyptians make an 
attempt to cut their way out. In point of numbers Amuba's 
forces were now superior to those of the Egyptians, but he 
was well aware that the superior arms and discipline of the 
latter would enable them to make a successful sortie should 
they determine to do so. 

The women of the town were ordered to set to work to 
grind the grain served out from the magazine in the palace, 
and to bake bread both for the fighting men present and for 
those expected to arrive. By noon the latter began to flock 
in, the contingents from the towns arriving in regular order, 
while the shepherds and villagers straggled in irregularly as 
the news reached them of the events of the previous night. 
By evening fully ten thousand men had arrived, and as 
the Egyptians had remained quiet all day Amuba had every 
hope that they had decided to accept the terms he offered, 
and that there would be no occasion for further fighting. 
The troops, however, remained under arms all night, ready 
to repel an attack, and in the morning Amuba and Jethro 
mounted together on to the terrace of the building from 
which the parley had taken place on the previous day. 

A few minutes later the Egyptian governor and a group 
of his officers appeared on the opposite house. 

" This is King Amuba," Jethro said in a loud voice. " He 
is here to confirm the terms offered yesterday, and to receive 
your answer." 

" We are ready," the Egyptian governor said, " to retire 
beyond your frontier, carrying with us our arms, standards, 
and valuables, it being understood that we make no sur 
render whatever, but that we march out on equal terms, 
holding, as we do, that we could, if we chose, cut our way 
out in spite of any resistance." 

" You may hold that belief," Amuba said (and the Egyp- 


tian was astonished at finding that the king, as well as his 
general, was capable of conversing in the Egyptian tongue) ; 
"and, indeed, knowing and honouring the valour of the 
Egyptian troops, I admit it is possible that, although with 
great loss, you might make your way out, but more than 
that you could not do. You could not hold the country, 
for you have a nation against you. It is doubtful whether 
you could reach the frontier. Surely it is better, then, that 
you should leave with honour and without loss." 

"As to the tribute that you offer," the Egyptian com 
mander said, " I have no power to agree to any diminution 
of the terms imposed by the king, and if it be his will that 
an army invades your country to enforce the former terms, 
I, with the troops here, must march as ordered, without im 
putation of having behaved treacherously." 

"That is quite understood," Amuba said; "but I trust, 
my lord, that you, having seen for yourself how poor is our 
country, how utterly unable to continue to pay the tribute 
formerly demanded from us, which has already impover 
ished us to the last degree, will represent the same in your 
despatches to the king, and will use your good offices in 
obtaining his favourable consideration of our case. I can 
promise you that the tribute shall be paid regularly. I re 
gard Egypt as the greatest power in the world, and I am 
most desirous to continue in friendly relations with it, and 
I swear to you that it will be no fault of mine if any com 
plaint reach you of trouble on our part." 

Amuba's speech was well calculated to soothe the pride 
of the Egyptian. The latter was perfectly conscious, al 
though he spoke confidently, that it would be no easy 
matter for his troops to cut their way through the narrow 
gateway held by the masses of the Rebu, still less to make 
their way, harassed as he was, to their frontier. If he 
returned with his troops intact and in good condition he 


could so represent circumstances that no blame or discredit 
would fall upon him; and personally he was exceedingly 
pleased at the prospect of the termination of his soldiering 
at a post so far removed from Egypt and civilization. He, 
therefore, agreed to the terms Amuba proposed, and after 
a short parley the conditions of the evacuation of the town 
by the Egyptians were arranged. 

Amuba agreed to withdraw his men from the buildings 
that they occupied, and also from the gate, and to place them 
all upon the walls, thus saving the Egyptians the humiliation 
of passing through lines of armed men, and avoiding the 
risk of a broil arising between the soldiers. He at once 
issued the necessary orders, and the Rebu retired to the 
walls where they could defend themselves in case of any 
treachery on the part of the Egyptians, and the inhabitants 
of the city were all ordered back from the road leading 
from the entrance to the Egyptian inclosure to the gate in 
the city walls. An hour later the Egyptians drew up in 
order in their inclosure. 

Each man carried with him food sufficient for a week's 
subsistence, and Amuba had arranged that a certain number 
of bullocks should be sent forward at once to each halting- 
place on the way to the frontier, and that there a herd 
sufficient for their subsistence during their march to the 
nearest Egyptian garrison should be awaiting them. In firm 
and steady order the Egyptians marched out. The images 
and symbols of the gods were carried aloft, and the bearing 
of the soldiers was proud and defiant, for they, too, were 
doubtful whether the Rebu might not intend to make an 
attack upon them, the terms granted them seeming to be 
almost too good to be trusted. No sooner had the rear of 
the column passed out through the city gate than the Rebu 
with shouts of joy flocked down from the walls, and the city 
gave itself up to rejoicing. 


Jethro had at once sent out messengers to see that the 
oxen were collected at the points agreed upon, and to issue 
orders that the population along the line of march should 
all retire before the arrival of the Egyptians, who might 
otherwise have been tempted to seize them and carry them 
off as slaves with them in their retreat. 

For the next few days Amuba's time was wholly occupied 
in receiving deputations from the various towns and districts, 
in appointing fresh officials, and in taking measures for the 
re-arming of the people and their enrolment in companies, 
so that the country should be in a position to offer a des 
perate resistance should the Egyptians determine to re 
capture it. It was certain that many months must elapse 
before any force capable of undertaking their invasion could 
march from Egypt; but Amuba was determined that no 
time should be lost in making preparations, and he decided 
that something of the tactics and discipline of the Egyptians 
should be introduced into the Eebu army. 

He had on the very night of the surprise of the town 
sent on a message to inform the girls of his success, and 
that neither Chebron nor himself were hurt. Having by 
unremitting work got through his most pressing business, he 
left Jethro, who was now formally appointed general-in- 
chief, to carry on the work, and started with Chebron to 
fetch the girls to his capital. But he was now obliged to 
travel with a certain amount of state, and he was accom 
panied by twenty of the leading men of the Rebu in chariots, 
and by an escort of light armed horsemen. At each town 
through which he passed he was received with rapturous 
greetings, and hailed as king and deliverer of the nation. 

Two days after starting he arrived at the little seaport, and 
after receiving the usual greeting from the inhabitants, and 
holding an audience at which he received the principal 
inhabitants who came to tender their allegiance, he made 


his way to the house of the Persian merchant where he had 
placed the girls. As his chariot stopped at the door the 
merchant appeared on the threshold and made a profound 
prostration. He had until the arrival of Amuba at the town 
been in entire ignorance that those who had placed the girls 
under his charge were other than they seemed. He knew 
indeed from their ignorance of his language that the girls were 
not Persians, but supposed that they were female slaves who 
had been brought from a distance, with a view, perhaps, of 
being presented as an offering to the king. 

After a word or two with him, Amuba and Chebron 
entered the house and ascended to the apartment which had 
been set aside for the girls. They were standing timidly 
at one end of the room, and both bent profoundly as he 
entered. Amuba for a moment paused in astonishment, and 
then burst into a fit of laughter. 

"Is this your sister, Chebron, who thus greets her old friend 
in such respectful fashion? Am I myself or some one else 1 ?" 

" You are King Amuba," Mysa said, half smiling, but 
with tears in her eyes. 

" That is true enough, Mysa; but I was always prince, you 
know. So there is nothing very surprising in that." 

" There is a great difference," Mysa said; "and it is only 
right where there is such a difference of rank " 

"The difference of rank need not exist long, Mysa," 
Amuba said, stepping forward and taking her hand. "Cheb 
ron, who is your brother, and like a brother to me, has given 
me his consent, and it rests only with you whether you will 
be queen of the Rebu and Amuba's wife. You know that 
if I had not succeeded in winning a throne I should have 
asked you to share my lot as an exile, and I think you 
would have said yes. Surely you are not going to spoil my 
triumph now by saying no. If you do I shall use my royal 
power in earnest and take you whether you will or not" 


But Mysa did not say no, and six weeks later there was 
a royal wedding in the capital Amuba had at once allotted 
one of the largest houses in the royal in closure to Chebron, and 
to this he took Mysa while Amuba was making the tour of 
his country, receiving the homage of the people, hearing 
complaints and seeing that the work of preparation for the 
defence of the country was being carried on, after which he 
returned to the capital. The wedding was celebrated in 
great state, though it was observed that the religious cere 
monies were somewhat cut short, and that Amuba abstained 
from himself offering sacrifice on the altars of the gods. 
The ceremony was a double one, for at the same time 
Chebron was united to Ruth. 

For the next year the preparations for war went on 
vigorously and the Rebu army was got into a state of great 
efficiency. Amuba and Jethro felt confident that it could 
successfully withstand any invading force from Egypt, but, 
as they had hoped, Egypt made no effort to regain her 
distant conquest, but was content to rank the land of the 
Rebu among the list of her tributary nations, and to accept 
the diminished tribute. 

Once prepared for war Amuba turned his attention to 
the internal affairs of the country. Many of the methods 
of government of Egypt were introduced. Irrigation was 
carried out on a large scale, and the people were taught no 
longer to depend solely upon their flocks and herds. Stone 
took the place of mud in the buildings of the towns, rigorous 
justice was enforced throughout the land, wagons and carts 
similar to those of Egypt took the place of pack animals, 
which had hitherto been used for transport; improved 
methods of agriculture were taught, and contentment and 
plenty reigned in the land. 

Chebron remained Amuba's chief minister, adviser, and 
friend, and under their joint efforts the Rebu rose from the 


condition of a mere settled tribe to that of a small but 
flourishing nation. 

Another change was made, but more slowly. Soon after 
his ascension Amuba assembled many of the leading men 
and chief-priests in the country, and explained to them the 
convictions held by himself and Chebron and their wives, 
that there was but one God who ruled over the world, and 
that this knowledge was the highest wisdom of the Egyp 
tians. He explained to the priests that he did not wish to 
overthrow the temples, or disturb the worship of the former 
gods, but that he desired that the people should not remain 
in ignorance, but should be taught that the gods as they 
worshipped them were but symbols of images of the one 
great God. He said he had no thought of enforcing his 
convictions upon others, but that all would be free to wor 
ship as they pleased, and that at all times he and Chebron 
would be ready to confer with those who wished to inquire 
into these matters. 

In this matter alone Amuba met with much opposition in 
carrying out his plans, and had he been less popular than 
he was with the people his efforts might have cost him his 
throne and his life; but the Eebu were devoted to him, and 
as the priests came gradually to see that the change would 
not diminish their power, their opposition died away, es 
pecially as many of the younger men were soon convinced 
by the arguments of the king and his minister, and preached 
the new religion with enthusiasm among the people. But 
it was not until many years after that Amuba had the 
satisfaction of knowing that the one God was worshipped 
among his people. He was well aware that the success of 
the work was to no small extent due to the earnestness with 
which Mysa and Euth had laboured among the wives and 
daughters of the nobles. 

" How strangely things turn out," Chebron said one day 


ten years after their arrival in the land, when the little 
party who had travelled so long together were gathered 
in a room in the palace. "At one time it seemed that that 
unlucky shot of mine would not only bring ruin on all 
connected with me, but be a source of unhappiness to me to 
the end of my life. Now I see that, except for the death 
of my father, it was the most fortunate event of my life. But 
for that, I should all my life have gone on believing in the 
gods of Egypt; but for that, although you, Amuba and 
Jethro, might some day have made your escape, Mysa and 
I would assuredly never have left Egypt, never have known 
anything of the life of happiness and usefulness that we 
now enjoy. All this I consider I owe to the fortunate 
shot that killed the Cat of Bubastes." 



"Wherever English is spoken one imagines that Mr. Henty's name is known. 
One cannot enter a schoolroom or look at a boy's bookshelf without seeing half- 
a-dozen of his familiar volumes. Mr. Henty is no doubt the most successful 
writer for boys, and the one to whose new volumes they look forward every 
Christmas with most pleasure." Review of Reviews. 

" Let it be said at once that a man of years who cannot on occasion read his 
Henty is not therefore to be envied. Mr. Henty ransacks the world from China 
to Peru for plots ; he piles incident upon incident, and hurries you along at 
a hand-gallop from sensation to sensation. He is always hearty and jovial, 
always honestly British in his zeal for gallantry and pluck." National Observer. 


the Briton: A Story of the Eoman Invasion. By 
G-. A. HENTY. With 12 page Illustrations by W. PABKINSON. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6*. 

" Eerie the Briton is the boy's book of the year." Observer. 

" He is a hero of the most attractive kind, and the record of his trials and his 
valour is one of the most spirited and well-imagined stories Mr. Henty has 
written." Saturday Review. 

" \Ve are not aware that any one has given us quite so vigorous a picture of 
Britain in the days of the Roman conquest. Mr. Henty has done his utmost to 
make an impressive picture of the haughty Roman character, with its indomitable 
courage, sternness, and discipline. Beric the Briton is good all through, and if 
the historical tales do displace the great classics they are the best of their kind 
and much history can be learnt from them." Spectator. 

In Greek Waters: A Story of the Grecian War of Inde 
pendence (1821-1827). By G. A. HENTY. With 12 page Illus 
trations by W. S. STACEY, and a Map. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 
olivine edges, 6s. 

"There are adventures of all kinds for the hero and his friends, whose pluck 
and ingenuity in extricating themselves from awkward fixes are always equal to 
the occasion. It is an excellent story, and if the proportion of history is smaller 
than usual, the whole result leaves nothing to be desired. "Journal of Education. 

"Xo boy with a turn for the sea could fail to envy Horace that slick schooner 
the Creole, so weatherly, so ' beamy,' but withal of such wonderfully fine lines, and 
the two or three 'tall, slim, and powerfully built young lieutenants' of his 
Majesty's Navy who took service under Mr. Beveridge to go privateering in the 
Ionian seas. "Daily Chronicle. 



" Among writers of stories of adventure for boys Mr. Henty stands in the very 
first rank." Academy. 

The Lion Of the North : A Tale of Gustavus Adolphus and 
the Wars of Religion. By G. A. HENTY. With 12 page Pictures 
by J. SCHONBERG. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

"A praiseworthy attempt to interest British youth in the great deeds of the 
Scotch Brigade in the wars of Gustavus Adolphus. Mackay, Hepburn, and Munro 
live again in Mr. Henty's pages, as those deserve to live whose disciplined bands 
formed really the germ of the modern British army." Athenaeum. 

The Young- Carthaginian: A story of the Times of 

Hannibal. By G. A. HENTY. With 12 page Illustrations by C. J. 
STANILAND, B.I. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

" The effect of an interesting story, well constructed and vividly told, is en 
hanced by the picturesque quality of the scenic background. From first to last 
nothing stays the interest of the narrative. It bears us along as on a stream, 
whose current varies in direction, but never loses its force." Saturday Review. 

With Wolfe in Canada: Or, The Winning of a Continent. 
By G. A. HENTY. With 12 page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6*. 

"A model of what a boys' story-book should be. Mr. Henty has a great power 
of infusing into the dead facts of history new life, and as no pains are spared by 
him to ensure accuracy in historic details, his books supply useful aids to study 
as well as amusement." School Guardian. 

In Freedom's Cause: A Story of Wallace and Bruce. By 
G. A. HENTY. With 12 page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

"Mr. Henty has broken new ground as an historical novelist. His tale of the 
days of Wallace and Bruce is full of stirring action, and will commend itself to 
boys. " A thenceum. ' 

ThrOUgll the Fray: A Story of the Luddite Eiots. By 
G. A. HENTY. With 12 page Illustrations by H. M. PAGET. Crown 
8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

" Mr. Henty inspires a love and admiration for straightforwardness, truth, and 
courage. This is one of the best of the many good books Mr. Henty has produced, 
and deserves to be classed with his Foci-tig Death." Standard. 

Captain Bayley'S Heir: A Tale of the Gold Fields of Cali 
fornia. By G. A. HENTY. With 12 page Illustrations by H. M. 
PAGET. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

"A Westminster boy who makes his way in the world by hard work, good 
temper, and unfailing courage. The descriptions given of life are just what a 
healthy intelligent lad should delight in." St. James's Gazette. 



' Mr. Henty is one of our most successful writers of historical tales." Scotsman. 

Condemned as a Nihilist: A Story of Escape from Siberia. 
By G. A. HENTY. With 8 page Illustrations by WALTER PAGET. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"The best of this year's Henty. His narrative is more interesting than many 
of the tales with which the public is familiar, of escape from Siberia. Despite 
their superior claim to authenticity these tales are without doubt no less fic 
titious than Mr. Henty's, and he beats them hollow in the matter of sensations. 
The escape of the hero and his faithful Tartar from the Samoyedes is quite the 
high-water mark of this author's achievement." National Observer. 

" An admirable and unexaggerated account of Russian conspiracies and plots. 
The book will certainly rank amongst Mr. Henty's best." School Guardian. 

"Mr. Henty describes the arrest, followed by deportation to Siberia, in so 
graphic a way that one who had actually been in charge of a Cossack guard might 
well be proud of it." Spectator. 

" Condemned as a Nihilist will be as eagerly read as any of the deservedly 
popular books which we look for each year. His description of the escape is 
almost as exciting as Monte Cristo's." Journal of Education. 

Held Fast fOF England: A Tale of the Siege of Gibraltar. 
By G. A. HENTY. With 8 page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" Among them we would place first in interest and wholesome educational 
value the story of the siege of Gibraltar. . . There is no cessation of exciting 
incident throughout the story." Athenaeum. 

One Of the 28th : A Tale of Waterloo. By G. A. HENTY. 

With 8 page Illustrations by W. H. OVEREND, and 2 Maps. Crown 
8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" Written with Homeric vigour and heroic inspiration. It is graphic, pictur 
esque, and dramatically effective . . shows us Mr. Henty at his best and 
brightest. The adventures will hold a boy of a winter's night enthralled as he 
rushes through them with breathless interest ' from cover to cover.'" Observer. 

The Cat Of Bubastes: A Story of Ancient Egypt. By 
G. A HENTY. With 8 page Illustrations by J. R WEGUELIN. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"The story, from the critical moment of the killing of the sacred cat to the 
perilous exodus into Asia with which it closes, is very skilfully constructed and 
full of exciting adventures. It is admirably illustrated." Saturday Review. 

Maori and Settler: A Story of the New Zealand War. By 
G. A HENTY. With 8 page Illustrations by ALFRED PEARSE, and 
a Map. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"It is a book which all young people, but especially boys, will read with 
avidity." Athenceum. 

"A flrst-rate book for boys, brimful of adventure, of humorous and interesting 
conversation, and of vivid pictures of colonial life." Schoolmaster. 



"Mr. Henty is the king of story-tellers for boys." Sword and Trowel. 

St. George fOP England: A Tale of Cressy and Poitiers. 
By G. A. HENTY. With 8 full-page Illustrations by GORDON 
BKOWNE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" Mr. Henty's historical novels for boys bid fair to supplement, on their behalf, 
the historical labours of Sir Walter Scott in the land of fiction." Standard. 

" A story of very great interest for boys. In his own forcible style the author 
has endeavoured to show that determination and enthusiasm can accomplish mar 
vellous results; and that courage is generally accompanied by magnanimity and 
gentleness." Pall Mall Gazette. 

The Bravest Of the Brave: With Peterborough in Spain. 
By Gr. A. HENTY. With 8 full-page Pictures by H. M. PAGET. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"Mr. Henty never loses sight of the moral purpose of his work to enforce the 
doctrine of courage and truth, mercy and lovingkindness, as indispensable to the 
making of an English gentleman. British lads will read The Bravest of the 
Brave with pleasure and profit; of that we are quite sure." Daily Telegraph. 

For Name and Fame: Or, Through Afghan Passes. By 
G. A. HENTY. With 8 full-page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" The best feature of the book, apart from its scenes of adventure, is its honest 
effort to do justice to the patriotism of the Afghan people. " Daily News. 

"Not only a rousing story, replete with all the varied forms of excitement of a 
campaign, but, what is still more useful, an account of a territory and its inhabi 
tants which must for a long time possess a supreme interest for Englishmen, as 
being the key to our Indian Empire." Glasgow Herald. 

In the Reign Of Terror: The Adventures of a Westminster 
Boy. By G. A. HENTY. With 8 full -page Illustrations by J. 
SCHONBERG. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" Harry Sandwith, the Westminster boy, may fairly be said to beat Mr. Henty's 
record. His adventures will delight boys by the audacity and peril they depict. 
The story is one of Mr. Henty's best. " Saturday Review. 

Orange and Green: A Tale of the Boyne and Limerick. 
By G. A. HENTY. With 8 full -page Illustrations by GORDON 
BROWNE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"An extremely spirited story, based on the struggle in Ireland, rendered 
memorable by the defence of 'Derry and the siege of Limerick." Sat. Review. 

"/The narrative is free from the vice of prejudice, and ripples with life as 
vivacious as if what is being described were really passing before the eye. . . . 
Should be in the hands of every young student of Irish history. "Belfast News. 

By Sheer PlUCk: A Tale of the Ashanti War. By G. A. 
HENTY. With 8 full-page Pictures by GORDON BROWNE. Crown 
8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"By Sheer Pluck will be eagerly read. The author's personal knowledge of the 
west coast has been turned to good advantage." Athenaeum. 

"Morally, the book is everything that could be desired, setting before the boys 
a bright and bracing ideal of the English gentleman." Christian Leader. 



" Mr. Henty is the king of story-tellers for boys. "Sword and Trowel. 

The Dragon and the Raven: Or, The Days of King 

Alfred. By G. A. HENTY. With 8 page Illustrations by C. J. 
STANILAND, R.I. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" A story that may justly be styled remarkable. Boys, in reading it, will be 
surprised to find how Alfred persevered, through years of bloodshed and times 
of peace, to rescue his people from the thraldom of the Danes. We hope the 
book will soon be widely known in all our schools." Schoolmaster. 

A Final Reckoning: A Tale of Bush Life in Australia. 
By G. A. HENTY. With 8 page Illustrations by W. B. WOLLEN. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" All boys will read this story with eager and unflagging interest. The episodes 
are in Mr. Henty's very best vein graphic, exciting, realistic; and, as in all Mr. 
Henty's books, the tendency is to the formation of an honourable, manly, and 
even heroic character." Birmingham Post. 

Facing Death: Or, The Hero of the Vaughan Pit. A Tale of 

the Coal Mines. By G. A. HENTY. With 8 page Pictures by 
GORDON BROWNE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" If any father, godfather, clergyman, or schoolmaster is on the look-out for a 
good book to give as a present to a boy who is worth his salt, this is the book we 
would recommend. " Standa rd. 

A Chapter Of Adventures: Or, Through the Bombard 
ment of Alexandria. By G. A. HENTY. With 6 page Illustrations 
by W. H. OVEREND. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6c. 

"The experience of Jack Robson and his two companions in the stree's of 
Alexandria when Arabi's rioters filled the city is capitally told. They have their 
fill of excitement, and their chapter of adventures is so brisk and entertaining we 
could have wished it longer than it is." Sat^^rday Review. 

Grettir the Outlaw: A Story of Iceland. By S. BARING- 
GOULD. With 10 page Illustrations by M. ZENO DIEMER, and a 
Coloured Map. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

" Is the boys' book of its year. That is, of course, as much as to say that it 
will do for men grown as well as juniors. It is told in simple, straightforward 
English, as all stories should be, and it has a freshness, a freedom, a sense of sun 
and wind and the open air, which make it irresistible." National Observer. 

TWO Thousand Years Ago: Or, The Adventures of a Eoman 
Boy. By Professor A. J. CHURCH. With 12 page Illustrations b^ 
ADRIEN MARIE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6*. 

"Adventures well worth the telling. The book is extremely entertaining as 
well as useful, and there is a wonderful freshness in the Roman scenes ami 
characters." The Times. 



A, Rough Shaking 1 . By GEORGE MAC DONALD. With 
12 page Illustrations by W. PARKINSON. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 
olivine edges, 6s. 

"One of Mr. Mac Donald's wonderful and charming stories." Athenaeum. 

"One of the very best books for boys that has been written. It is full of mate 
rial peculiarly well adapted for the young, containing in a marked degree, the 
elements of all that is necessary to make up a perfect boys' book." Teachers' Aid. 

At the Back of the North Wind. By GEORGE MAC 

DONALD. With 75 Illustrations by ARTHUR HUGHES. Crown 
8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"In At the Back of the North Wind we stand with one foot in fairyland and 
one on common earth. The story is thoroughly original, full of fancy and pathos, 
and underlaid with earnest but not too obtrusive teaching." The Times. 

Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood. By GEORGE MAC DONALD. 

With 36 Illustrations by ARTHUR HUGHES. Crown 8vo, cloth ele 
gant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"The sympathy with boy-nature in Ranald Bannerman's Boyhood is perfect. 
It is a beautiful picture of childhood, teaching by its impressions and suggestions 
all noble things." British Quarterly Review. 

The Princess and the Goblin. By GEORGE MACDONALD. 
With 32 Illustrations. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d. 

"Little of what is written for children has the lightness of touch and play of 
fancy which are characteristic of George Mac Donald's fairy tales. Mr. Arthur 
Hughes's illustrations are all that illustrations should be." Manchester Guardian. 

The Princess and Curdie. By GEORGE MAC DONALD. 
With 8 page Illustrations Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d. 

" There is the finest and rarest genius in this brilliant story. Upgrown people 
would do wisely occasionally to lay aside their newspapers and magazines to 
spend an hour with Curdie and the Princess. " Sheffield Independent. 


Under False Colours. By SARAH DOUDNEY. With 12 
page Illustrations by G-. G. KILBURNE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 
olivine edges, 6s. 

"This is a charming story, abounding in delicate touches of sentiment and 
pathos. Its plot is skilfully contrived. It will be read with a warm interest by 
every girl who takes it up." Scotsman. 

"Sarah Doudney has no superior as a writer of high-toned stories pure in 
style, original in conception, and with skilfully wrought-out plots ; but we have 
seen nothing from her pen equal in dramatic energy to this book." Christian 



The Universe : Or The Infinitely Great and the Infinitely Little. 
A Sketch of Contrasts in Creation, and Marvels revealed and 
explained by Natural Science. By F. A. POUCHET, M.D. With 
272 Engravings on wood, of which 55 are full-page size, and a 
Coloured Frontispiece. Tenth Edition, medium 8vo, cloth elegant, 
gilt edges, 7s. 6d. ; also morocco antique, 16s. 

" We can honestly commend Professor Pouchet's book, which is admirably, as 
it is copiously illustrated." The Times. 

"Scarcely any book in French or in English is so likely to stimulate in the 
young an interest in the physical phenomena." Fortnightly Review. 


The ThiPSty Sword: A Story of the Norse Invasion of 

Scotland (1262-63). By ROBERT LEIGHTON. With 8 page Illus 
trations by ALFRED PEARSE, and a Map. Crown 8vo, cloth ele 
gant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" This is one of the most fascinating stories for boys that it has ever been our 
pleasure to read. From first to last the interest never flags. Boys will worship 
JCenric, who is a hero in every sense of the word." Schoolmaster. 

"There is a great deal of good work in The Thirsty Sword, which has some 
striking characters in it. Boys will get a sound notion of the life led by the 
dwellers in the western isles of Scotland at this period, and no one will put down 
the book without having felt a breath of the Viking spirit." Spectator. 

"Mr. Leighton is a born story teller and can afford to dispense with the fic 
titious aids of inferior writers. We cordially commend this book to the notice 
of intelligent boyg, and we feel convinced the readers of mature age also will 
read it with pleasure." School Guardian. 

" It gives a lively idea of the wild life of the Western Islands in those rough 
days, reminding one not seldom of Sir Walter Scott's Lord of the Isles. It is full 
of incident and sensational adventure." The Guardian. 

The Pilots Of Pomona: A Story of the Orkney Islands. 
By ROBERT LEIGHTON. With 8 page Illustrations by JOHN LEIGH- 
TON, and a Map. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" A story which is quite as good in its way as Treasure Island, and is full of 
adventure of a stirring yet most natural kind. Although it is primarily a boys' 
book, it is a real godsend to the elderly reader who likes something fresh some 
thing touched with the romance and magic of youth." Glasgow Evening Times. 

"His pictures of Orcadian life and nature are charming." Saturday Review. 

Robinson Crusoe. By DANIEL DEFOE. Illustrated by 100 
Pictures by GORDON BROWNE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 6s. 

"One of the best issues, if not absolutely the best, of Defoe's work which has 
ever appeared." The Standard. 

Gulliver's Travels. Illustrated by more than 100 Pictures 
by GORDON BROWNE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" Mr. Gordon Browne is, to my thinking, incomparably the most artistic, 
spirited, and brilliant of our illustrators of books for boys, and one of the most 
humorous also, as his illustrations of 'Gulliver' amply testify." Truth. 



" Mr. Fenn stands in the foremost rank of writers in this department. "Daily 


Quicksilver: Or, A Boy with no Skid to his Wheel. By 
GEORGE MANVILLE FENN. With 10 page Illustrations by FBANK 
DADD. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

" Quicksilver is little short of an inspiration. In it that prince of story-writers 
for boys George Manville Fenn has surpassed himself. It is an ideal book for 
a boy's library." Practical Teacher. 

" The story is capitally told, it abounds in graphic and well-described scenes, 
and it has an excellent and manly tone throughout." The Guardian. 

DlCk 0' the Fens: A Eornance of the Great East Swamp. By 
G. MANVILLE FENN. With 12 page Illustrations by FRANK DADD. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

"We conscientiously believe that boys will find it capital reading. It is full 
of incident and mystery, and the mystery is kept up to the last moment. It is 
rich in effective local colouring; and it has a historical interest. "Times. 

" Deserves to be heartily and unreservedly praised as regards plot, incidents, 
and spirit. It is its author's masterpiece as yet." Spectator. 

Devon Boys: A Tale of the North Shore. By G. MANVILLE 

FENN. With 12 page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. Crown 
8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

"An admirable story, as remarkable for the individuality of its young heroes 
as for the excellent descriptions of coast scenery and life in North Devon. It is 
one of the best books we have seen this season." Athenaeum. 

The Golden Magnet : A Tale of the Land of the Incas. By 
G. MANVTLLE FENN. Illustrated by 12 page Pictures by GORDON 
BROWNE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

" There could be no more welcome present for a boy. There is not a dull page 
in the book, and many will be read with breathless interest. 'The Golden Mag 
net' is, of course, the same one that attracted Raleigh and the heroes of West 
ward Ho ! " Journal of Education. 

In the King's Name : Or, The Cruise of the Kestrel. By 
G. MANVILLE FENN. Illustrated by 12 page Pictures by GORDON 
BROWNE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

" A capital boys' story, full of incident and adventure, and told in the lively 
style in which Mr. Fenn is such an adept." Globe. 

"The best of all Mr. Fenn's productions in this field. It has the great quality 
of always 'moving on,' adventure following adventure in constant succession." 
Daily News. 

Bunyip Land: The Story of a Wild Journey in New Guinea. 
By G. MANVILLE FENN. With 12 page Illustrations by GORDON 
BROWNE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

" Mr. Fenn deserves the thanks of everybody for Bunyip Land, and we may ven 
ture to promise that a quiet week may be reckoned on whilst the youngsters have 
such fascinating literature provided for their evenings' amusement." Spectator. 



" No one can find his way to the hearts of lads more readily than Mr. Fenn." 
Nottingham Guardian. 

YuSSUf the Guide: Being the Strange Story of Travels in 
Asia Minor. By G. MANVILLE FENN. With 8 page Illustrations 
by J. SCHONBERG. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" The narrative will take its readers into scenes that will have great novelty 
and attraction for them, and the experiences with the brigands will be especially 
delightful to boys." Scotsman. 

MenhardOC: A Story of Cornish Nets and Mines. By G. 
MANVILLE FENN. With 8 page Illustrations by C. J. STANILAND. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"They are real living boys, with their virtues and faults. The Cornish fisher 
men are drawn from life, they are racy of the soil, salt with the sea-water, and 
they stand out from the pages in their jerseys and sea-boots all sprinkled with 
silvery pilchard scales." Spectator. 

Nat the Naturalist: A Boy's Adventures in the Eastern 
Seas. By G. MANVILLE FENN. With 8 page Pictures. Crown 8vo, 
cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"This sort of book encourages independence of character, develops resource, 
and teaches a boy to keep his eyes open." Saturday Review. 

BrOWnsmith'S Boy: A Eomance in a Garden. By G. MAN 
VILLE FEXN. With 6 page Illustrations. New Edition. Crown 
8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. 

"Mr. Fenn's books are among the best, if not altogether the best, of the stories 
for boys. Mr. Fenn is at his best in Brownsmith's Boy." Pictorial World. 


'Twixt School and College : A Tale of Self-reliance. By 
GORDON STABLES, C.M., M.D., R.N. With 8 page Illustrations by 
W. PARKINSON. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 
"One of the best of a prolific writer's books for boys, being full of practical 
instructions as to keeping pets, from white mice upwards, and inculcates in a way 
which a little recalls Miss Edgeworth's 'Frank' the virtue of self-reliance, 
though the local colouring of the home of the Aberdeenshire boy is a good deal 
more picturesque." Athenaeum. 

The Seven Wise Scholars. By ASCOTT R HOPE. With 

nearly 100 Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. Cloth elegant, 5s. 
"As full of fun as a volume of Punch; with illustrations, more laughter- 
provoking than most we have seen since Leech died." Sheffield Independent. 

Stories Of Old Renown: Tales of Knights and Heroes. 

By ASCOTT R HOPE. With 100 Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 

Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. 

" A really fascinating book worthy of its telling title. There is, we venture to 
say, not a dull page in the book, not a story which will not bear a second read 
ing." Guardian. 



The HeireSS Of Courtleroy. By ANNE BEALE. With 8 
page Illustrations by T. C. H. CASTLE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 
olivine edges, 5s. 

" We can speak highly of the grace with which Miss Anne Beale relates how 
the young ' Heiress of Courtleroy ' had such good influence over her uncle as to 
win him from his intensely selfish ways in regard to his tenants and others." 

" In Le Roy we have perhaps the most striking and original creation that Miss 
Beale has made. He interests us to the last." Spectator. 

"A very capable little woman, and lovable withal, is Mimica, the heroine." 
St. James's Gazette. 


Giannetta: A Girl's Story of Herself. By KOSA MULHOLLAND. 
With 8 page Illustrations by LOCKHART BOGLE. Crown 8vo, cloth 
elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" Giannetta is a true heroine warm-hearted, self-sacrificing, and, as all good 
women nowadays are, largely touched with the enthusiasm of humanity. One 
of the most attractive gift-books of the season." The Academy. 


The Pirate Island: A Story of the South Pacific. By 
HARRY COLLINGWOOD. With 8 page Pictures by C. J. STANILAND 
and J. TL WELLS. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" A capital story of the sea ; indeed in our opinion the author is superior in some 
respects as a marine novelist to the better known Mr. Clark RusselL" The Times. 

The Log Of the "Flying 1 FlSh:" A Story of Aerial and 
Submarine Peril and Adventure. By HARRY COLLINGWOOD. With 
12 page Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. Crown 8vo, cloth 
elegant, olivine edges, 6s. 

" The Flying Fish actually surpasses all Jules Verne's creations ; with incred 
ible speed she flies through the air, skims over the surface of the water, and darts 
along the ocean bed. We strongly recommend our school-boy friends to possess 
themselves of her log." Atheneeum. 

The Congo Rovers: A Story of the Slave Squadron. By 
HARRY COLLINGWOOD. With 8 page Illustrations by J. SCHONBERG. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" No better sea story has lately been written than the Congo Rovers. It is as 
original as any boy could desire." Morning Post. 



Hussein the Hostage : Or, A Boy's Adventures in Persia. 
By G. NORWAY. .With 8 page Illustrations by JOHN SCHONBERG. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

" Hussein the Hostage is full of originality and vigour. The characters are life 
like, there is plenty of stirring incident, the interest is sustained throughout, and 
every boy will enjoy following the fortunes of the hero." Journal of Education. 

The LOSS Of John Humble: What Led to It, and what 
Came of It. By G. NORWAY. With 8 page Illustrations by JOHN 
SCHONBERG. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 
" This story will place the author at once in the front rank. It is full of life 

and adventure. He is equally at home in his descriptions of life in Sweden and 

in the more stirring passages of wreck and disaster, and the interest of the story 

is sustained without a break from first to last. " Standard. 


Highways and High Seas: Cyril Harley's Adventures on 
both. By F. FRANKFORT MOORE. With 8 page Illustrations by 
ALFRED PEARSE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"This is one of the best stories Mr. Moore has written, perhaps the very best. 
The exciting adventures among highwaymen and privateers are sure to attract 
boys. " Spectator. 

Under Hatches : Or, Ned Woodthorpe's Adventures. By F. 
FRANKFORT MOORE, With 8 page Illustrations by A. FORESTIER. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 5s. 

"The story as a story is one that will just suit boys all the world over. The 
characters are well drawn and consistent; Patsy, the Irish steward, will be found 
especially amusing." Schoolmaster. 


Meg'S Friend. By ALICE CORKRAN. With 6 page Illustra 
tions by ROBERT FOWLER. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6rf. 
"One of Miss Corkran's charming books for girls, narrated in that simple 
and picturesque style which marks the authoress as one of the first amongst 
writers for young people." The Spectator. 

Margery Merton's Girlhood. By ALICE CORKRAN. With 
6 page Pictures by GORDON BROWNE. Cr. 8vo, cloth extra, 3*. 6d. 

"Another book for girls we can warmly commend. There is a delightful 
piquancy in the experiences and trials of a young English girl who studies 
painting in Paris." Saturday Review. 

Down the SnOW Stairs: Or, From Good-night to Good- 
morning. By ALICE CORKRAN. With 60 Illustrations by GORDON 
BROWNE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, olivine edges, 3s. 6d. 

" A fascinating wonder-book for children." Athenaeum. 

"A gem of the first water, bearing upon every page the mark of genius. It is 
indeed a Little Pilgrim's Progress." Christian Leader. 



Three Bright Girls: A Story of Chance and Mischance. 
By ANNIE E. ARMSTRONG. With 6 page Illustrations by W. PAR 
KINSON. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6rf. 

"Among many good stories for girls this is undoubtedly one of the very best. 
The three girls whose portraits are so admirably painted are girls of earnest, 
practical, and business-like mood. Ever bright and cheerful, they influence other 
lives, and at last they come out of their trials and difficulties with honour to 
themselves and benefits to all about them." Teachers' Aid. 

A Very Odd Girl: or, Life at the Gabled Farm. By ANNIE 
E. ARMSTRONG. With 6 page Illustrations by S. T. DADD. Crown 
8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. 

" The book is one we can heartily recommend, for it is not only bright and 
interesting, but also pure and healthy in tone and teaching." The Lady. 

"The doings of the heroine at the Gabled Farm are amusing in the extreme, 
and her escapades are always bringing her into trouble. Vera is a fine character, 
however, and our girls will all be the better for making her acquaintance." 
Teachers' Aid. 


An Old- Time Yarn: Wherein is set forth divers desperate 
mischances which befell Anthony Ingram and his shipmates in the 
West Indies and Mexico with Hawkins and Drake. By EDGAR 
PICKERING. Illustrated with 6 page Pictures drawn by ALFRED 
PEARSE. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. 

"And a very good yarn it is, with not a dull page from first to last. There is 
a flavour of Westward Ho! in this attractive book." Educational Review. 

" An excellent story of adventure. Especially good is the description of Mexico 
and of the dungeons of the Inquisition, while Don Diego Polo is a delightful 
mixture of bravery and humour, and his rescue of the unfortunate prisoners is 
told with great spirit. The book is thoroughly to be recommended." Guardian. 

"Here is plenty of thrilling dangers. English and Spaniards are bitterly 
opposed ; the Inquisition is not forgotten, nor the Aztecs, nor the duello. It is 
one of those books which makes a boy remember that he was born an English 
man." Daily Telegraph. 

Silas Verney: A Tale of the Time of Charles II. By EDGAR 
PICKERING. With 6 page Illustrations by ALFRED PEARSE. Crown 
8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. 

"Wonderful as the adventures of Silas are, it must be admitted that they are 
very naturally worked out and very plausibly presented. Altogether this is an 
excellent story for boys. " Saturday Review. 

Brother and Sister: Or, The Trials of the Moore Family. 
By ELIZABETH J. LYSAGHT. With 6 page Illustrations. Crown 
8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. 

" A pretty story, and well told. The plot is cleverly constructed, and the moral 
is excellent." Athenaeum. 


The Captured Cruiser: or, Two Yeai-s from Land. By 
C. J. HYNE. With 6 page Illustrations by F. BRANGWYN. Crown 
8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. 

" Mr. C. J. Hyne shows uncommon skill in evolving a succession of startling 
incidents in a natural fashion. His story is told in an exceedingly animated style, 
and though it starts at a brisk rate, the pace is more than sustained to the 
dramatic catastrophe at the end. It is altogether a capital story, well illustrated. " 
Saturday Review. 

"There is not a dull page in the book, and the leading characters, including 
not only the two lads but the two skippers, Macadam and Amos Power, are 
admirably drawn. Mr. Hyne has now secured a position in the first rank of 
writers of fiction for boys." Spectator. 

"This can be confidently recommended to boys as a really good story of adven 
ture." Bookman. 

Afloat at Last: A Sailor Boy's Log of his Life at Sea. By 
JOHN C. HUTCHESON. With 6 page Illustrations by W. H. 
OVEREND. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. 

"As healthy and breezy a book as one could wish to put into the hands of 
a boy." Academy. 

" A tale of seafaring life told with fire and enthusiasm, full of spirited incident 
and well-drawn character." Observer. 

Picked Up at Sea: Or, The Gold Miners of Minturne Creek. 
By J. C. HUTCHESON. With 6 page Pictures. Cloth extra, 3s. 6d. 

" The author's success with this book is so marked that it may well encourage him 
to further efforts. The description of mining life in the Far West is true and accu 
rate." Sta'ndard. 

Sir Walter's Ward: A Tale of the Crusades. By WILLIAM 
EVERARD. With 6 page Illustrations by WALTER PAGET. Crown 
8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d. 

" This book will prove a very acceptable present either to boys or girls. !} th 
alike will take an interest in the career of Dodo, in spite of his unhert ic nan e, 
and follow him through his numerous and exciting adventures." A cadtmy. 

The Search for the Talisman: A Story of Lairador. 

By HENRY FRITH. With 6 page Illustrations by J. SCHONBERG. 

Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. Qd. 

" Mr. Frith's volume will be among those most read and highest valued The 
adventures among seals, whales, and icebergs in Labrador will delight many a 
young reader." Pall Mall Gazette. 

Reefer and Rifleman: A Tale of the Two Services. By 
J. PERCY - GROVES, late 27th Inniskillings. With 6 page Illustra 
tions by JOHN SCHONBERG. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6rf. 

" A good, old-fashioned, amphibious story of our fighting witli the Frenchmen in 
the beginning of our century, with a fair sprinkling of fun and frolic." Times. 

Self-Exiled: A Story of the High Seas and East Africa. By 
J. A. STEUART. With 6 page Illustrations by JOHN SCHONBERG. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6r/. 

" It is cram full of thrilling situations. The number of miraculous escapes 
from death in all its shapes which the hero experiences in the course of a few 
months must be sufficient to satisfy the most voracious appetite." Schoolmaster. 



Cousin Geoffrey and I. By CAROLINE AUSTIN. With 6 
page Illustrations by W. PARKINSON. Cr. 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6rf. 

"Miss Austin's story is bright, clever, and well developed." Saturday Review. 
" A powerfully written and realistic story of girl life. . . . The tone of the 
book is pure and good." Practical Teacher. 

Hugh Herbert's Inheritance. By CAROLINE AUSTIN. 

With 6 page Illustrations by C. T. GARLAND. Crown 8vo, cloth 
elegant, 3*. 6rf. 

"Will please by its simplicity, its tenderness, and its healthy interesting 
motive. It is admirably written." Scotsman. 

Storied Holidays: A Cycle of Red-letter Days. By E. S. 
BROOKS. With 12 page Illustrations by HOWARD PYLE. Crown 
8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. 

" It is a downright good book for a senior boy, and is eminently readable from 
first to last" Schoolmaster. 

Chivalric Days: Stories of Courtesy and Courage in the 
Olden Times. By E. S. BROOKS. With 20 Illustrations by 
GORDON BROWNE and other Artists. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d. 

" We have seldom come across a prettier collection of tales. These charming 
stories of boys and girls of olden days are no mere fictitious or imaginary sketches, 
but are real and actual records of their sayings and doings." Literary World. 

Historic Boys: Their Endeavours, their Achievements, and 
their Times. By E: S. BROOKS. With 12 page Illustrations by 
R. B. BIRCH and JOHN SCHONBERG. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d. 

" A wholesome book, manly iu tone, its character sketches enlivened by brisk 
dialogue and high-class illustrations; altogether one that should incite boys to 
further acquaintance with those rulers of men whose careers are narrated. We 
advise teachers to put it on their list of prizes. " Knowledge. 

Dr. Jolliffe'S Boys: A Tale of Weston School. By LEWIS 
HOUGH. With 6 page Pictures. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6d. 

"Young people who appreciate Tom Brown's School-days will find this story a 
worthy companion to that fascinating book. There is the same manliness of tone, 
truthfulness of outline, avoidance of exaggeration and caricature, and healthy 
morality as characterized the masterpiece of Mr. Hughes." NewcastU Journal. 

The Bubbling Teapot. A Wonder Story. By Mrs. L. W. 
CHAMPNEY. With 12 page Pictures by WALTER SATTERLEE. 
Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6<f. 

"Very literally a 'wonder story,' and a wild and fanciful one. Nevertheless 
it is made realistic enough, and there is a good deal of information to be gained 
from it. The steam from the magic teapot bubbles up into a girl, and the little 
girl, when the fancy takes her, can cry herself back into a teapot. Transformed 
and enchanted she makes the tour of the globe." The Times. 


Laugh and Learn: The Easiest Book of Nursery Lessons 
and Nursery Games. By JENNETT HUMPHREYS. Profusely Illus 
trated. Square 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. Qd. 

" Laugh and Learn instructs and amuses ; it is the very book for a wet day 
in the nursery, for besides solid instruction, admirably given, it contains number 
less games and contrivances, with useful and amusing illustrations. The musical 
drill is remarkably good." Athenaeum. 

"One of the best books of the kind imaginable, full of practical teaching in 
word and picture, and helping the little ones pleasantly along a right royal road 
to learning." Graphic. 

"Every mother of children should have Laugh and Learn, and go through 
with them the excellent course it contains." Journal of Education. 


Thorndyke Manor : A Tale of Jacobite Times. By MARY 
C. ROWSELL. With 6 page Illustrations by L. LESLIE BROOKE. 
Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. 

"It is a good story, with plenty of 'go' in it." Times. 

"Miss Bowsell has never written a more attractive book than Thorndyke 
Manor " Belfast News-Letter. 

Traitor Or Patriot? A Tale of the Eye-House Plot. By 
MARY C. ROWSELL. With 6 page Pictures by C. 0. MURRAY and 
C. J. STANILAND, R.I. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. Qd. 

" Here the Rye-House Plot serves as the groundwork for a romantic love epi 
sode, whose true characters are lifelike beings, not dry sticks as in many histori 
cal tales." Graphic. 

Silver Mill: A Tale of the Don Valley. By Mrs. E. H. EEAD. 
With 6 page Illustrations by JOHN SCHONBERG. Crown 8vo, cloth 
elegant, 3s. Qd. 

"A good girl's story-book. The plot is interesting, and the heroine, Ruth, a 
lady by birth, though brought up in a humble station, well deserves the more 
elevated position in which the end of the book leaves her." Saturday Review. 

Dora: Or, A Girl without a Home. By Mrs. E. H. EEAD. With 
6 page Illustrations. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 6d. 

"It is no slight thing, in an age of rubbish, to get a story so pure and healthy 
as this." The Academy. 

Life's Daily Ministry: A Story of Everyday Service for 
Others. By Mrs. E. R. PITMAN. With 4 page Illustrations. Crown 
8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 6rf. 

" Shows exquisite touches of a master hand. She depicts in graphic outline 
the characteristics of the beautiful and the good in life." Christian Union. 

My Governess Life: Or, Earning my Living. By Mrs. E. 

R. PITMAN. With 4 page Illustrations. Cloth extra, 3s. 6d. 
'' Full of sound teaching and bright examples of character." S.S. Chronicle. 




Beautifully Illustrated and Handsomely Bound. 

Patience Wins : or, War in the Works. By GEORGE MAN- 
VILLE FENN. With 6 page Illustrations. New Edition. Crown 
8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 

"Mr. Fenn has never hit upon a happier plan than in writing this story of 
Yorkshire factory life. The whole book is all aglow with life, the scenes varying 
continually with kaleidoscopic rapidity." Pall Mall Gazette. 

Mother Carey's Chicken: Her Voyage to the Unknown 
Isle. By G. MANVILLE FENN. With 6 page Illustrations by A. 
FORESTIER. New Edition. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 

" Undoubtedly one of the best Mr. Fenn has written. The incidents are of 
thrilling interest, while the characters are drawn with a care and completeness 
rarely found in a boys' book. The illustrations are exceptionally good." Liter 
ary World. 

The Missing Merchantman. By HARRY COLLINGWOOD. 
With 6 page Illustrations by W. H. OVEEEND. New Edition. 
Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 

" One of the author's best sea stories. The hero is as heroic as any boy could 
desire, and the ending is extremely happy." British Weekly. 

The ROVer'S Secret: A Tale of the Pirate Cays and Lagoons 
of Cuba. By HARRY COLLINGWOOD. With 6 page Illustrations by 
W. C. SYMONS. New Edition. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 

" The Rover's Secret is by far the best sea story we have read for years, and is 
certain to give unalloyed pleasure to boys. The illustrations are fresh and 
vigorous." Sat urday Review. 

The Wigwam and the War-path: stories of the Bed 

Indians. By ASCOTT R. HOPE. With 6 page Illustrations. New 
Edition. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 

"Is notably good. It gives a very vivid picture of life among the Indians, 
which will delight the heart of many a schoolboy." Spectator. 

Perseverance Island: or, The Robinson Crusoe of the 19th 
Century. By DOUGLAS FRAZAR. With 6 page Illustrations. New 
Edition. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, 3s. 

"This is an interesting story, written with studied simplicity of style, much in 
Defoe's vein of apparent sincerity and scrupulous veracity; while for practical 
instruction it is even better than Robinson Crusoe." Illustrated London News. 

Girl Neighbours: or, The Old Fashion and the New. By 
SARAH TYTLER. With 6 page Illustrations by C. T. GARLAND. 
New Edition. Crown 8vo, cloth elegant, 3s. 

" One of the most effective and quietly humorous of Miss Sarah Tytler's stories. 
Girl Neighbours is very healthy, very agreeable, and very well written." The 



Illustrated by eminent Artists. In crown 8vo, cloth elegant. 

A Rough Road: or, How the Boy Made a Man of Himself. 
By Mrs. G. LINN^US BANKS. Illustrated by ALFRED PEARSE. 

" Mrs. Linnaeus Banks has not written a better book than A Rough Road." 

"Told with much simple force and that charm which belongs to one who has 
known herself what a rough road is, and how to traverse it." Winter's Weekly. 

" A story that has something of the directness and vividness of presentment of 
Bunyan or Defoe. It is as a vivid almost Pilgrim's Progress-like narrative, that 
it commands respect and admiration. "Fifeshire Journal. 

The TWO Dorothys: A Tale for Girls. By Mrs. HERBERT 
MARTIN. Illustrated by GORDON BROWNE. 

"A book that will not only interest and please all girls, but will also, from its 
pure but unostentatious teaching, stimulate and encourage to better and higher 
things, youthful hopes, dreams, and ambitions." The Lady. 

" A charming little book, in which the younger Dorothy conquers a hard and 
irascible grand-aunt by force of love and unselfishness. "Scottish Leader. 

"No better book could be wished for a girl." Teachers' Aid. 

Penelope and the Others: A story of Five Country 

Children. By AMY WALTON. Illustrated by L. LESLIE BROOKE. 

" This is a charming book for children. Miss Walton proves herself a perfect 
adept in understanding of school-room joys and sorrows, and her name ought to 
become a household word amongst our boys and girls." Christian Leader. 

"Will interest boys as well as girls. The discovery of some Roman remains 
which prove to be a honey-pot filled with money belonging to an eccentric old 
maid, is very amusing. The book is sure to be liked by young children." St. 
James's Gazette. 

"The impression left by the whole book is that of a picture of pleasant things 
and people one is glad to have made acquaintance with." Yorkshire Herald. 

A Cruise in ClOUdland. By HENRY FRITH. Illustrated 
by W. S. STACEY. 

" It is a thoroughly interesting story, especially the part dealing with the siege 
of Plevna. There is an excellent little sketch of General Skobeloff." St. James's 

" The vivid pictures of the Russo-Turkish war will keep open the eyes of the 
drowsiest Jack considerably beyond midnight." Aberdeen Journal. 

Marian and Dorothy: or, The Abbey Grange. By ANNIE 

" This is distinctively a book for girls. It contains a bright wholesome story, 
with the useful morals of industry and forgiveness of injuries. The book is 
decidedly to be commended." Academy. 



StimSOn'S Reef: A Tale of Adventure. By C. J. HYNE. 

Illustrated by W. S. STACKY. 

" Few stories come within hailing distance of Stimson's Reef in the matter of 
startling incidents and hairbreadth 'scapes. In these respects it may almost vie 
with Mr. K,. L. Stevenson's matchless Treasure Island." Guardian. 

Gladys AllStrUther: or, The Young Stepmother. By LOUISA 
THOMPSON. Illustrated by F. H. TOWNSEND. 

"It is a clever book, and some of the passages in the narrative are novel and 
striking in the highest degree. " Schoolmistress. 

The Secret Of the Old House. By EVELYN EVERETT- 

"Tim, the little Jacobite who asks his grandmother if she can remember 
Charles I., is a charming creation. So original a child as Tim must win the 
hearts of all who read the pleasant tale." Academy. 

Hal Hungerford. By J. R HUTCHINSON, B.A. 

" There is no question whatever as to the spirited manner in which the story is 
told ; the death of the mate of the smuggler by the teeth of the dog is especially 
effective. Altogether, Hal Hungerford is a distinct literary success." Spectator. 

The Golden WeathePCOCk. By JULIA GODDARD. 

" A cleverly conceived quaint story, in which the golden cock on the church 
spire is the recipient of enchanting stories of enchanted people and places. Full of 
pretty and ingenious ideas, prettily and ingeniously written." Saturday Review. 

White Lilac : Or, The Queen of the May. By AMY WALTON. 

" Every here and there we are reminded of Mrs. Tulliver and Sister Pullet in 
the quaint dialogue of the story. . . . Every rural parish ought to add White 
Lilac to its library." Academy. 

Miriam's Ambition. By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN. 

"Miss Green's children are real British boys and girls, not small men and 
women. Babs is a charming little one." Liverpool Mercury. 

The Brig "Audacious." By ALAN COLE. 

" Bright and vivacious in style, and fresh and wholesome as a breath of sea air 
in tone." Court Journal. 

The Saucy May. By HENRY FRITH. 

' ' Mr. Frith gives a new picture of life on the ocean wave which will be acceptable 
to all yonng people." Sheffield Independent. 

Jasper's Conquest. By ELIZABETH J. LYSAGHT. 

" One of the best boys' books of the season. It is full of stirring adventure and 
startling episodes, and yet conveys a splendid moral throughout." Schoolmaster. 



Little Lady Clare. By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN. 

"Certainly one of the prettiest, reminding us in its quaintness and tender 
pathos of Mrs. Ewing's delightful tales. This is quite one of the best stories Miss 
Green's clever pen has yet given us." Literary World. 

The Eversley Secrets. By EVELYN EVERETT-GREEN. 

" A clever and well-told story. Roy Eversley is a very touching picture of high 
principle and unshrinking self-devotion in a good purpose." Guardian. 

The Hermit Hunter of the Wilds. By G. STABLES, R.N. 

" Pirates and pumas, mutiny and merriment, a castaway and a cat, furnish 
the materials for a tale that will gladden the heart of many a bright boy." 
Methodist Recorder. 

Sturdy and Strong 1 . By G. A. HENTY. 

"The history of a hero of everyday life, whose love of truth, clothing of 
modesty, and innate pluck carry him, naturally, from poverty to affluence. He 
stands as a good instance of chivalry in domestic life. "The Empire. 

Gutta-Pereha Willie, The Working Genius. By GEORGE 

" Had we space we would fain quote page after page. All we have room to say 
is, get it for your boys and girls to read for themselves." Practical Teacher. 

The War Of the Axe: Or, Adventures in South Africa. By 

"The story of their final escape from the Caffres is a marvellous bit of writing. 
. . . The story is well and brilliantly told." Literary World. 

The Lads of Little Clayton. BY R. STEAD. 

"A capital book for boys. They will learn from its pages what true boy cour 
age is. They will learn further to avoid all that is petty and mean if they read 
the tales aright. They may be read to a class with great profit. " Schoolmaster. 

Ten Boys who lived on the Road from Long Ago to Now. 
By JANE ANDREWS. With 20 Illustrations. 

" The idea of this book is a very happy one, and is admirably carried out. We 
have followed the whole course of the work with exquisite pleasure. Teachers 
should find it particularly interesting and suggestive." Practical Teacher. 

A Waif Of the Sea: Or, The Lost Found. By KATE WOOD. 

" Written with tenderness and grace, the story will appeal to mothers who 
have felt the pain of being parted from their children, as powerfully as to the 
hearts and sympathies of younger readers." Morning Advertiser. 

Winnie's Secret: A Story of ! Faith and Patience. By KATE 

" One of the best story-books we have read. Girls will be charmed with the 
tale, and delighted that everything turns out so well." Schoolmaster. 



MiSS WillOWburn's Offer. By SARAH DOUDNET. 

" Patience Willowburn is one of Miss Doudney's best creations, and is the one 
personality in the story which can be said to give it the character of a book not 
for young ladies but for girls." Spectator. 

A Garland for Girls. By LOUISA M. ALCOTT. 

"The Garland will delight our girls, and show them how to make their lives 
fragrant with good deeds." British Weekly. 
"These little tales are the beau ideal of girls' stories." Christian World. 

Hetty Gray: Or, Nobody's Bairn. By KOSA MULHOLLAND. 

" A charming story for young folks. Hetty is a delightful creature piquant, 
tender, and true and her varying fortunes are perfectly realistic." World. 

Brothers in Arms: A Story of the Crusades. ByF. BAY- 

" Full of striking incident, is very fairly illustrated, and may safely be chosen as 
sure to prove interesting to young people of both sexes." Guardian. 

The Ball Of Fortune: Or, Ned Somerset's Inheritance. By 

"A capital story for boys. It is simply and brightly written. There is plenty 
of incident, and the interest is sustained throughout." Journal of Education. 

Miss Fenwiek's Failures: Or, "Peggy Pepper-Pot." By 


"Esme" Stuart may be commended for producing a girl true to real life, who 
will put no nonsense into young heads." Graphic. 

Gytha's Message: A Tale of Saxon England. By EMMA 

"This is a charmingly told story. It is the sort of book that all girls and some 
boys like, and can only get good from." Journal of Education. 

Jack 0* Lanthorn: A Tate of Adventure. By HENRY FRITH. 

" The narrative is crushed full of stirring incident, and is sure to be a prime 
favourite with our boys, who will be assisted by it in mastering a sufficiently 
exciting chapter in the history of England." Christian Leader. 

The Family Failing 1 . By DARLEY DALE. 

"At once an amusing and an interesting story, and a capital lesson on the 
value of contentedness to young and old alike." Aberdeen Journal. 

My Mistress the Queen: A Tale of the 17th Century. By 

" The style is pure and graceful, the presentation of manners and character 
has been well studied, and the story is full of interest." Scotsman. 



The Stories of Wasa and Menzikoff : The Deliverer of 

Sweden, and the Favourite of Czar Peter. 

"Both are stories worth telling more than once, and it is a happy thought to 
have put them side by side." Spectator. 

Stories of the Sea in Former Days. 

"Next to an original sea- tale of sustained interest come well-sketched collec 
tions of maritime peril and suffering which awaken the sympathies by the realism 
of fact. Stories of the Sea are a very good specimen of the kind." The Times. 

Tales of Captivity and Exile. 

"It would be difficult to place in the hands of young people a book which 
combines interest and instruction in a higher degree." Ala nohester Courier. 

Famous Discoveries by Sea and Land. 

"Such a volume may providentially stir up some youths by the divine fire 
kindled by these 'great of old' to lay open other lands." Perth Advertiser. 

Stirring 1 Events of History. 

"The volume will fairly hold its place among those which make the smaller 
ways of history pleasant and attractive." Guardian. 

Adventures in Field, Flood, and Forest. 

" The editor has beyond all question succeeded admirably. The present book 
cannot fail to be read with interest and advantage." Academy. 


Illustrated by eminent Artists. In crown 8vo, cloth elegant. 

An Unexpected Hero. By ELIZ. J. LYSAGHT. Illustra 
tions by S. T. DADD. 

"A capital boys' book." Athenaeum. 

" Among the very best of the series is, An Unexpected Hero. Apart from the 
main interest and purpose of the story, there is abundance of pleasant incident 
and skilful character delineation." Freeman's Journal. 

The Bushranger's Secret. By Mrs. HENRY CLARKE, M.A. 
Illustrated by W. S. STACEY. 

"This is certainly one of the best stories we have had of the Australian bush, 
well told, with a good plot, an action always good, and rising into dramatic in 
tensity at times." Spectator. 

"Cleverly devised and well told. The tone is healthy and the adventures 
sufficiently numerous and exciting to keep a boy reader entranced to th~ nd." 



The White Squall: A Story of the Sargasso Sea. By JOHN 
C. HUTCHESON. With 3 page Illustrations. New Edition.. 

"This is a capital story. The descriptions of scenery and places, and especially 
of the changes of calm and tempest, are lifelike and vivid. Boys will find it 
difficult to lay down the book till they have got to the end." Standard. 

The Wreck of the "Nancy Bell:" or, Cast Away on 

Kerguelen Land. By JOHN C. HUTCHESON. With 3 page Illus 
trations. New Edition. 

"Well deserves popularity, for while the narrative is full of excitement and in 
terest, it cannot fail to stimulate a love of enterprise and adventure, develop 
resource, and encourage independence and manliness of character." Academy. 

The JoyOUS Story Of TotO. By LAURA E. EICHARDS. 
With 30 Humorous Illustrations by E. H. GARRETT. 

" A very delightful book for children, which deserves to find a place in every 
nursery." Lady's Pictorial. 

"It should take its place beside Lewis Carroll's unique works, and find a special 
place iu the affections of boys and girls." Birmingham Gazette. 

The Lonely Pyramid. By J. H. YOXALL. 

"There is only the record of one week's wanderings ; but it is an exceedingly full 
week full of wild surprises and marvels. The Pyramid alone is a fascinating 
invention, and the 'lost oasis of the vision on the sand' is even more delightful." 
Saturday Review. 

Bab: or, The Triumph of Unselfishness. By ISMAY THORN. 

"Bab is a capital story for children, who will be much amused by the picture 
on the cover of the worthy doll Jocasta." Athenaeum. 

Climbing the Hill, and other Stories. By ANNIE S. SWAN. 

"Miss Annie Swan's children are children, and not old people masquerading in 
children's attire. This volume of tales is made up of just the kind of incidents 
of which children love to read." Christian Leader. 

Brave and True, and other Stories. By GREGSON Gow. 

" This is one of those very few volumes which are adapted for reading aloud to 
children in the nursery." Spectator. 

The Light Princess. By GEORGE MAC DONALD. 

" Graceful, fantastic, delicately didactic in its playfulness, this volume is likely 
to give as much pleasure to the elder folk as to the younger. "Daily News. 

Nutbrown Roger and I. By J. H. YOXALL. 

"The pictures of manners is perfect, the excitement, of the healthiest kind, 
goes on increasing to the last. It is one of the very best and most delightful 
story-books of the season." Tablet. 

Warner's Chase : Or, The Gentle Heart. By ANNIE S. SWAN. 

"In Milly Warren, the heroine, who softens the hard heart of her rich uncle, 
and thus unwittingly restores the family fortunes, we have a fine ideal of real 
womanly goodness." Schoolmaster. 



Sam Silvan's Sacrifice. By JESSE COLMAN. 

" There is a spirit of gentleness, kindliness, and tenderness manifest in every 
page of this volume, which will make it an influence for good." Christian Union. 

Insect Ways On Summer Days in Garden, Forest, Field, 
and Stream. By JENNETT HUMPHREYS. With 70 Illustrations. 

"This book will prove not only instructive but delightful to every child whose 
mind is beginning to inquire and reflect upon the wonders of nature. It is 
capitally illustrated and very tastefully bound." Academy. 

Susan. By AMY WALTON. 

"A clever little story, written with some humour. The authoress shows a 
great deal of insight into children's feelings and motives." Pall Mall Gazette. 

A Pair Of ClOgS. By AMY WALTON. 

"Decidedly interesting, and unusually true to nature. For children between 
nine and fourteen this book can be thoroughly commended." Academy 

The Hawthorns. By AMY WALTON. 

"A remarkably vivid and clever study of child-life. At this species of work 
Amy Walton has no superior." Christian Leader. 

Dorothy's Dilemma. By CAROLINE AUSTIN. 

"An exceptionally well-told story, and will be warmly welcomed by children. 
The little heroine, Dorothy, is a charming creation." Court Journal. 

Marie's Home. By CAROLINE AUSTIN. 

"An exquisitely told story. The heroine is as fine a type of girlhood as one 
could wish to set before our little British damsels of to-day." Christian Leader. 

A Warrior King 1 . By j. EVELYN. 

"The friendship formed between the African Prince and Adrian Englefleld will 
remind the reader of the old story of the ' wonderful love' which existed long ago 
when Jonathan and David made a covenant." Dundee Advertiser. 

Aboard the "Atalanta." By HENRY FRITH. 

"The story is very interesting and the descriptions most graphic. We doubt 
if any boy after reading it would be tempted to the great mistake of running 
away from school under almost any pretext whatever." Practical Teacher. 

The Penang Pirate. By JOHN C. HUTCHESON. 

"A book which boys will thoroughly enjoy: rattling, adventurous, and romantic, 
and the stories are thoroughly healthy in tone." Aberdeen Journal. 

Teddy: The Story of a " Little Pickle." By JOHN C. HUTCHESON. 

"He is an amusing little fellow with a rich fund of animal spirits, and when at 
length he goes to sea with Uncle Jack he speedily sobers down under the discip 
line of life." Saturday Review. 


"A carefully told story; and Meg 21icrd is a delightful and natural little girl/ 



Linda and the Boys. By CECILIA SELBY LOWNDES. 

" The book is essentially a child's book, and will be heartily appreciated by the 
young folk." The Academy. 

SwiSS StOPieS fOP Children. From the German of MADAM 

" Charming stories. They are rich in local colouring, and, what is better, in 
genuine pathos." The Times. 

The Squire's Grandson: A Devonshire Story. By J. M. 

" The lessons of courage, filial affection, and devotion to duty on the part of the 
young hero cannot fail to favourably impress all young readers." Schoolmaster. 

Magna Charta Stories. Edited by ARTHUR OILMAN, A.M. 

"A book of special excellence, which ought to be in the hands of all boys." 
Educational News. 

The WingS Of Courage ; AND THE CLOUD - SPINNER. 
Translated from the French of GEORGE SAND, by Mrs. CORKRAN. 

" Mrs. Corkran has earned our gratitude by translating into readable English these 
two charming little stories." Athenceum. 

Chirp and Chatter: Or, LESSONS FROM FIELD AND TREE. 
By ALICE BANKS. With 54 Illustrations by GORDON BROWNE. 

" We see the humbling influence of love on the haughty harvest-mouse, we are 
touched by the sensibility of the tender-hearted ant, and may profit by the moral 
of ' the disobedient maggot.' The drawings are spirited and funny." The Times. 

Four Little Mischiefs. By EOSA MULHOLLAXD. 

" Graphically written, and abounds in touches of genuine humour and innocent 
fun." Freeman. "A charming bright story about real children." Watchman. 

New Light through Old Windows. By GREGSON Gow. 

" The most delightfully-written little stories one can easily find in the literature 
of the season. Well constructed and brightly told." Glatgow Herald. 

Little Tottie, and Two Other Stories. By THOMAS ARCHER. 

" We can warmly commend all three stories; the book is a most alluring prize 
for the younger ones." Schoolmaster. 


"This nanghty child is positively delightful. Papas should not omit Naughty 
Mitt Bunny from their list of juvenile presents." Land and Water. 

Adventures Of Mrs. Wishing-tO-be. By ALICE CORKRAN. 

"Simply a charming book for little girls." Saturday Review. 

"Just in the style and spirit to win the hearts of children." Daily Sews. 


OUP Dolly: Her Words and Ways. By MRS. K. H. BEAD. 2s. 

" Prettily told and prettily illustrated." Guardian. 

Fairy Fancy: What she Heard and Saw. By MRS. BEAD. 2s. 

" All is pleasant, nice reading, with a little knowledge of natural history and 
other matters gently introduced." Practical Teacher. 


With Illustrations. In crown 8vo, cloti i elegant. 

Phil and his Father. By ISMAY THORN. 

The father of Phil is a widower, who proposes to marry a second time. 
The boy, however, resents this arrangement at first, but by the kindness 
and forbearance of his proposed stepmother all his ill-natured displeasure 
is dispelled, and the former comfortless home is made happy. 

Prim's Story. By L. E. TIDDEMAN. 

In her story Miss Prim tells what a foolish little girl she used to be. 
Her chief faults were to insist on always having her own way, and to be 
somewhat prim and priggish in her treatment of others. She was cured 
of these faults by the kindness and good sense of "the new nurse." 

Littlebourne Lock. By F. BAYFORD HARRISON. 

"I would like you all, big and little, to read the story of Juliet, the London 
waif, out of whose life poverty and want had pinched all sweetness ai.d bright 
ness, who was taken to a little lock-house by the side of our beautiful river, the 
Thames, and turned out to be a regular 'brick of a girl.'" Pall Mall Budget. 

Wild Meg and Wee Dickie. By MARY E. ROPES. 

" A study of life in the slums, vivid, powerful, and unutterably sad, yet not 
without hope. Meg's keen sense of humour helps her greatly, and her indomit 
able spirit enables her to raise herself and the little lad she has saved out of the 
depths into pleasant and honourable ways." Athenaeum. 

Grannie. A Story by ELIZABETH J. LYSAGHT. 

" The tale is prettily told, and the contrast drawn between the two girls who 
are thrown together is very effective. The story, pathetic though it be, is true to 
life." Nottingham Guardian. 

The Seed She Sowed: A Tale of the Great Dock Strike. By 

"A very true picture of the life and pain and pathos of outcast London." Pall 
Mall Gazette. 

Unlucky : A Fragment of a Girl's Life. By CAROLINE AUSTIN. 

" The heroine is a finely-drawn character. Through much domestic difficulty 
at the hands of a stepmother, she holds on in the right path, and exhibits a self- 
sacrificing nature that all would do well to copy. " Teachers' Aid. 

Everybody's Business. By ISMAY THORN. 

"One of Isniny Thorn's delightful children's books. The story is simply and 
cleverly written, and doubly attractive l>v ending so happily." Saturday Review. 



Tales of Daring and Danger. By G. A. HENTY. 

"Mr. Henty's heroes are brave and upright, quick and keen, and their doings 
make capital reading for boys." Athenaeum. 

" ' White-Faced Dick ' is a sketch worthy of Bret Harte at his best. Just the 
sort of tales to read aloud by the fireside on a winter's night." Pract. Teacher. 

Yarns on the Beach. By G. A. HENTY. 

"Should find special favour among boys. The yarns are full of romance and 
adventure, and are admirably calculated to foster a manly spirit." The Echo. 

The Seven Golden Keys. By JAMES E. ARNOLD. 

" No better fairy book than this has come our way for a long time. It is written 
with singular grace and skill; so perfect is the illusion, no child will doubt for 
a moment that it is all a true story." Christian Leader. 

The Story Of a Queen. By MARY C. ROWSELL. 

"Miss Rowsell is an excellent story-teller; she is especially successful in 
historical tales; her chronicle of Marie and her trials is thrilling." Guardian. 

Joan's Adventures, At the North Pole and Elsewhere. By ALICE 


"This is a most delightful fairy story. The charming style and easy prose 
narrative makes its resemblance striking to Hans Andersen's." Spectator. 

Edwy : Or, Was He a Coward? By ANNETTE LYSTER. 

" This is a charming story, and sufficiently varied to suit children of all ages." 
The Academy. 

Filled With Gold. By JENNIE PERRETT. 

" The tale is interesting, and gracefully told. Miss Perrett's description of life 
on the quiet Jersey farm will have a great charm." Spectator. 

The Battlefield Treasure. By F. BAYFORD HARRISON. 

" Jack Warren is a lad of the Tom Brown type, and his search for treasure and 
the sequel are sure to prove interesting to boys. " English Teacher. 

By Order of Queen Maude. By LOUISA CROW. 

'The tale is brightly and cleverly told, and forms one of the best children's 
books which the season has produced." Academy. 

Our General : A Story for Girls. By ELIZABETH J. LYSAGHT. 

"A young girl of indomitable spirit, to whom all instinctively turn for guid 
ance a noble pattern for girls." Guardian. 

Aunt Hesba's Charge. By ELIZABETH J. LYSAGHT. 

" This well-written book tells how a maiden aunt is softened by the influence 
of two Indian children who are unexpectedly left upon her hands." Academy. 

Into the Haven. By ANNIE S. SWAN. 

" No story more attractive, by reason of its breezy freshness, as well as tor the 
practical lessons it conveys." Christian Leader. 



Our Frank : and other Stories. By AMY WALTON. 

"These stories are of the sort that children of the clever kind are sure to like." 

The Late Miss Hollingford. By ROSA MULHOLLAND. 

" No book for girls published this season approaches this in the charm of its 
telling, which will be equally appreciated by persons of all ages. "Standard. 

The Pedlar and His Dog. By MARY C. ROWSELL. 

" The opening chapter, with its description of Necton Fair, will forcibly remind 
many readers of George Eliot. Taken altogether it is a delightful story." 
Western Morning News. 

A Terrible Coward. By G MANVILLE FENN. 

"Just such a tale as boys will delight to read, and as they are certain to profit 
by." Aberdeen Journal. 

Tom Finch's Monkey : and other Yarns. By J. C. HUTCHESON. 

" Stories of an altogether unexceptionable character, with adventures sufficient 
for a dozen books of its size." U. Service Gazette. 

Miss Grantley's Girls. By THOMAS ARCHER. 

" For fireside reading more wholesome and highly entertaining reading for young 
people could not be found." Northern Chronicle. 

Down and Up Again. By GKEGSON Gow. 

"The story is very neatly told, with some fairly dramatic incidents, and cal 
culated altogether to please young people." Scotsman. 

The Troubles and Triumphs of Little Tim. A City Story. 

" An undercurrent of sympathy with the struggles of the poor, and an ability 
to describe their feelings, eminently characteristic of .Dickens, are marked feaN 
tures in Mr. Gow's story." N. B. Mail. 

The Happy Lad : A Story of Peasant Life in Norway. From the 
Norwegian of Bjornson. 

"This pretty story has natural eloquence which seems to carry us back to some 
of the love stories of the Bible." Aberdeen Free Press. 

The Patriot Martyr : and other Narratives of Female Heroism. 

"It should be read with interest by every girl who loves to learn what her sex 
can accomplish in times of danger. "Bristol Times. 

Madge's Mistake. By ANNIE E. ARMSTRONG. 

"We cannot speak too highly of this delightful little tale. It abounds in 
interesting and laughable incidents. " Bristol Times. 

BOX of Stories. Packed for Young Folk by HORACE HAPPYMAN. 
When I was a Boy in China. By YAN PHOU LEE. 

"Has been written not only by a Chinaman, but by a man of culture. His 
book is as interesting to adults as it is to children."- The Guardian. 




Square 16mo, Illustrated, and neatly bound in cloth extra. 

The Lost Dog, and other Stories. 

The Rambles of Three Children. 

A Council of Courtiers. By CORA 

A Parliament of Pickles. By CORA 

Sharp Tommy: A Story for Boys and 
Girls. By E. J. LYSAGHT. 

The Strange Adventures of Nell, 
Eddie, and Toby. By GERALDINE 

Freda's Folly. By M. S. HAYCRAFT. 

Philip Danford : A Story of School 


The Youngest Princess. By JENNIE 

Arthur's Temptation. By EMMA 


A Change for the Worse. By M. 

Our Two Starlings. By CHRISTIAN 

Mr. Lipscombe's Apples. By JULIA 

Gladys : Or, The Sister's Charge. By 


A Gypsy against Her Will. 


The Castle on the Shore. By ISA 

An Emigrant Boy's Story. 

Jock and his Friend. 



John a' Dale. By MARY C. ROWSELL. 

In th3 Summer Holidays. By JEN- 

How the Strike Began. By EMMA 

Tales from the Russian of Madame 
Kubalensky. By G. JENNER. 

Cinderella's Cousin. By PENELOPE. 
Their New Home. By A. S. FENN. 
Janie's Holiday. By C. BEDFORD. 

A Boy Musician: or, The Young Days 
of Mozart. 

Hatto's Tower. By M. C. ROWSELL. 
Fairy Lovebairn's Favourites. 
Alf Jetsam. By Mrs. GEO. CUPPLES. 
The Redfords. By Mrs. G. CUPPLES. 
Hidden Seed. By EMMA LESLIE. 
Ursula's Aunt By ANNIE S. FENN. 

Jack's Two Sovereigns. By ANNIE 

A Little Adventurer. 


Olive Mount. By ANNIE S. FENN. 
Three Little Ones. By C. LANGTON. 

Tom Watkins' Mistake. By EMMA 

Two Little Brothers. By M. HAR 

The New Boy at Merriton. By 

The Children of Haycombe. By 

The Cruise of the "Petrel." By 

The Wise Princess. By M. HARRIET 

The Blind Boy of Dresden and 
his Sister. 

Jon of Iceland : A Story of the Far 

Stories from Shakespeare. 
Every Man in his Place. 

Fireside Fairies and Flower 

To the Sea in Ships. 

Jack's Victory: Stories about Dogs. 

Story of a King. By one of his Sol 
Prince Alexis: or, Old Russia. 

Little Daniel : A Story of a Flood on 
the Rhine. 

Sasha the Serf: Stories of Russian 

True Stories of Foreign History. 




F'cap 8vo, Illustrated, and neatly bound iu cloth extra. 

Little Miss Masterful. 


By L. E. 

_ of Honeysuckle : A Story 
of Epping Forest. By GEOKGINA 

An Australian Childhood. By ELLEN 

Kitty Carroll. By L. E. TIDDEMAN. 

A Joke for a Picnic. By W. L. 


Cross Purposes, and The Sha 

Patty's Ideas, and What Came of 
Them. By L. E. TIDDEMAN. 

Daphne: A Story of Self-conquest. 

Lily and Rose in One. By CECILIA 


Crowded Out : or, The Story of Lil's 
Patience. By II. B. MANWELL. 

Tom in a Tangle. By T. SPARROW. 

Things will Take a Turn. By 

Max or Baby. By ISMAY THORN. 
The Lost Thimble. By Mrs. Mus- 


Jaek-a-Dandy, By E. J. LYSAGHT. 

A Day of Adventures. By CHAR 

The Golden Plums. 


The Queen of Squats. By ISABEL 


Shucks. By EMMA LESLIE. 

Sylvia Brooke. By M. HARRIET M. 

The Little Cousin. By A. S. FENN. 
In Cloudland. By Mrs. MUSGRAVE. 

Jack and the Gypsies. 

Hans the Painter. 


Little Troublesome. 



My Lady May: and One Other Story. 

A Little Hero. 


Prince Jon's Pilgrimage. 

Harold's Ambition : or, A Dream of 

Sepperl the Drummer Boy. 


Aboard the Mersey. 

By Mrs. 

A Blind Pupil. 

Lost and Found. 


Fisherman Grim. 

By Mrs. CARL 


"The same good character pervades all these books. They are admirably 
adapted for the young. The lessons deduced are such as to mould children's 
minds in a good groove. We cannot too highly commend them for their excel 
lence." Schoolmistress. 

Tales Easy and Small for the Young 
est of All. In no word will you see 
more letters than three. By J. 

Old Dick Grey and Aunt Kate's Way. 
Stories in words of not more than 
four letters. By J. HUMPHREYS. 


, cloth. Sixpence each. 

Maud's Doll and Her Walk. In 

words of not more than four let 
ters. By J. HUMPHREYS. 

In Holiday Time. In words of not 
more than five letters. By J. 

Whisk and Buzz. By Mrs. A. H. 



Neatly bound in cloth extra. Each contains 64 pages and a Coloured Cut. 

From over the Sea. By L. E. TIDDE- 


The Kitchen Cat. By AMY WALTON. 
The Royal Eagle. By LOUISA THOMP 

Two Little Mice. By Mrs. GARLICK. 
A Little Man of War. By L. E. 




Chris's Old Violin. By J. LOCKHART. 

Mischievous Jack. By A. CORKRAN. 

The Twins. By L. E. TIDDEMAN. 

Pet's Project. By CORA LANGTON. 

The Chosen Treat. By C. WYATT. 

Little Neighbours. By A. S. FENN. 

Jim: A Story of Child Life. By CHRIS 

Little Curiosity: or, A German Christ 
mas. By J. M. CALLWELL. 

Sara the Wool -gatherer. By W. 


Fairy Stories: told by PENELOPE. 
A New Year's Tale. ByM.A.CuRRiE. 
Little Mop. By Mrs. CHARLES BRAY. 

The Tree Cake, and other Stories. 


Nurse Peggy, and Little Dog Trip. 
Fanny's King. By DARLEY DALE. 
Wild Marsh Marigolds. By D. DALE. 
Kitty's Cousin. By HANNAH B. 


Cleared at Last. By JULIA GOD- 


Little Dolly Forbes. By ANNIE S. 


A Year with Nellie. By A. S. FENN. 
The Little Brown Bird. 
The Maid of Domremy, and other 


Little Eric: a Story of Honesty. 
Uncle Ben the Whaler. 
The Palace of Luxury. 
The Charcoal Burner. 
Willy Black: A Story of Doing Bight. 
The Horse and His Ways. 
The Shoemaker's Present. 
Lights to Walk by. 
The Little Merchant. 
Nicholina: A Story about an Iceberg 

"A very praiseworthy series of Prize Books. Most of the stories are designed 
to enforce some important moral lesson, such as honesty, industry, kindness, 
helpfulness." School Guardian. 


Each 64 pages, 18mo, Illustrated, in Picture Boards. 

A Start in Life. By J. LOCKHART. 

Happy Childhood. By AIMEE DE 

Dorothy's Clock. By Do. 

Toddy. By L. E. TIDDEMAN. 

Stories about myDolls. By FELICIA 

Stories about my Cat Timothy. 

Delia's Boots. By W. L. E.OOPER. 

Lost on the Rocks. By B, SCOTTER. 

A Kitten's Adventures. By CARO 

Climbing the Hill. By ANNIE S. 

A Year at Coverley. By ANNIE S. 

Phil Foster. By J. LOCKHART. 

Papa's Birthday. By W. L. HOOPER. 

The Charm Fairy. By PENELOPE. 

Little Tales for Little Children. 

Worthy of Trust. By H. B. MAC 

Brave and True. By GREGSON Gow. 

Johnnie Tupper's Temptation. Do. 

Maudie and Bertie. Do. 

The Children and the Water-Lily. 

Poor Tom Olliver. By Do. 

Fritz's Experiment. By LETITIA 


Lucy's Christmas-Box. 



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FEB 9 2000